October 12th, 2016, Captain Ryan Lawler of Newport Coastal Adventure was out on the ocean aboard his personal vessel when he got word that an entangled whale was spotted off the coast of Newport Beach so he headed towards it to document the whale in distress and also contact rescue crews. When he arrived on scene, he noticed 4 floats attached to ropes from crab pots which were stuck very tightly to this unfortunate humpback whale. Ryan was able to take aerial photos and send them to Justin Viezbicke of NOAA who coordinated a rescue which launched from Seal Beach. It is unclear at this time if the whale was able to be helped or not, it is not an easy thing to do. Ryan Lawler says this is the worst entanglement he has ever seen and the whale was acting very irregular with long dive times and only coming up for a few short breaths.
Photos by Ryan Lawler with permission to use