Lifeguards rescue entangled dolphin off La Jolla Cove

Dolphin appeared to be stuck in netting

LA JOLLA, Calif. - Lifeguards and SeaWorld crews freed a juvenile dolphin that was tangled in netting near La Jolla Cove Friday.

A kayaker informed lifeguards at 9:30 a.m. that a dolphin was stuck in fishing line.

Lifeguards requested assistance from SeaWorld San Diego, and rescuers responded to a location about 1.5 miles south of La Jolla Cove.

An expert in disentanglements from SeaWorld used a long pole with a rope and hook on the end to snag the fishing line that entangled the young dolphin.

Before the heavy gauge fishing line could be cut away, boat pilot Rick Stell of the San Diego Lifeguard Service had to carefully maneuver up to the dolphin.

Fortunately, for the dolphin, SeaWorld's Keith Yip has done a lot of disentanglement operations. He perfectly completed the delicate job of cutting away the remaining line that was wrapped around the dolphin's dorsal fin.
After that, at about 11:50 a.m., shouts of joy were heard on the boat.  

"Woo! There he goes!" crew members said as the dolphin dove beneath the boat.

"This is the material and it looks like it's very high tensile strength," Yip said as he held up the fishing line that he'd cut from the dolphin.

Yip said it appeared the line had been on the dolphin for weeks if not months.

This is the first disentanglement operation SeaWorld has done this year.

Last year, they responded to two disentanglements involving dolphins and whales and the disentangled between 15 and 20 seals and sea lions.

Yip said it looked like the line had been carelessly discarded in the water and he called on all people fishing to bring their damaged line back to shore for proper disposal.

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