Thursday, July 14, 2011
Whale of tale of a tail of a whale
Photo from the Marlborough Express.
Three everyday Kiwi blokes took very large matters into their own hands after Department of Conservation employees failed to free a humpback whale from a rope and buoy entangled in its tail that could have killed it.
They just went ahead and did the job themselves. As one does. This is, after all, the land of the "Whale Rider." Sure, it was only a juvenile, but I don't think humpbacks come in small. And sure, these guys worked on a mussel farm and had a barge with a winch on it, but we're still talking whale here.
It took them a couple of hours, but they did it and the exhausted whale - which didn't move once during the rescue operation - swam away.
That earned the three mussel men a "bloody good job" from a DOC manager. DOC had told the three men they wouldn't be able to make it out to the mussel farm for a day or two.
The three guys didn't think the whale would make it that long, so just went ahead and did it themselves.
In a fabulous bureaucratic understatement, DOC said a whale rescue is not something it would normally encourage the public to get involved in. I wonder why?
The trio actually had to winch the whale to the surface so that they could free it from its shackles. I think these guys rock and are a fantastic example of Kiwi can-do. They deserve a few rounds of beer at the pub. I'd like to buy them the first one, but I'm sure they're already drinking out on their story. Who were these men? Scott Madsen, Martin Cunniffe and Jason Watson.
You can read about their full exploits here.