SEMPORNA: A group of rescuers were overcome with joy when a whale that was found trapped on the coral reef at Mabul island was successfully rescued and released into the blue ocean, but not before resurfacing twice as if to thank her rescuers.
The event took place at 9am when the whale, measuring three and a half metres long, was spotted.
Resort manager Carys Fox of Scuba Junkie Mabul Beach Resort, who led the whale rescue said: “It was like the whale knew that we were trying to save her.
“She was flapping around in distress in the shallow water but when we arrived she calmed down and let us put the life jackets around her as buoyancy and carried toward deeper water.”
Resort staff, visiting tourists and the local community from Mabul worked together and took only 25 minutes to free the whale.
Scuba Junkie marine biologist Ric Owen said the whale suffered cuts but they were all superficial and should heal quickly.
However, he could not exactly identify the species and they are currently waiting for confirmation from whale experts.
Divers are suggesting that it may either be a pilot whale or the rare pygmy sperm whale.
Semporna District Officer, Ibnu AK Baba congratulated and thanked the diving and local community in Mabul for their effort.
He hoped this experience would lead towards better collaborative management and protection of marine life, including whales and sharks since
Semporna is not only a major diving destination but also within the area
of coral triangle initiative.