This past Sunday, Christina Callaghan shared a touching story. She is a guide for the Pirate’s Cove Whale Watch in Tiverton, Long Island and was out on her cruiser when she spotted a whale nearby. As she and her crew approached they realized that the whale was entangled in fishing ropes and lobster traps and was having trouble breathing. It’s a common and heartbreaking situation that whale watchers often come across, except this time it was a little different; this whale had a friend by her side!
The tangled female Humpback whale named Foggy was being kept company by her male Humpback friend Grommet. Foggy had ropes all over her body and was listing to one side because of the weight of lobster traps she was dragging beneath her. Grommet was swimming next to Foggy, popping his head in and out of the water as if he were calling for help. He never left Foggy’s side. “I will challenge anyone who claims that humans are the only intelligent, empathetic animals”, Christina wrote.
Christina’s crew notified a whale disentanglement crew to free Foggy and waited for the fast rescue craft (FRC) to arrive. The FRC assessed the situation and carefully cut away the ropes that had trapped Foggy with their specially designed equipment. Foggy allowed the team to approach her and let them work to cut her free.
As the last rope was cut away from Foggy’s head, releasing her to freedom, Grommet dove deep into the ocean and then burst from the water in a beautiful breach. “Tell me that wasn’t a celebration”, wrote Christina.
The last they saw of the two whale friends, they were heading side by side up the Bay of Fundy. The whale watch guides and rescue crew were left with huge smiles on their faces. “I, and anyone who was there, will always remember Foggy’s rescue this afternoon”, Christina said.