The Olympian reports that the trio from the nonprofit Cascadia Research of Olympia worked from their 20-foot boat. Tuesday's rescue off Westport Harbor took nearly three hours. A Coast Guard crew in a 47-foot boat assisted.
John Calambokidis of Cascadia Research describes the whale as very approachable and says it seemed to initiate close contact with the inflatable boat. The crab line and floats were wrapped around the whale's flukes, but the Cascadia crew was able to cut the line attached to the crab gear and set the whale free. The newspaper says markings on the float indicated it was a crab pot from Oregon.
Once freed, the whale swam away quickly.