By Mike Duffy and Australia Correspondent Rachel Morton / 3 News online staff
Rescuers have scaled back their search for a whale that was tangled in ropes off a Sydney beach yesterday.
Rescue efforts had to be abandoned yesterday due to poor light, and there was no sign of the calf and its mother when they resumed today.
The whales were first spotted off Dover Heights around midday yesterday, the calf trailing about 30 metres of rope behind it.
Water police and the National Parks and Wildlife Service had planned to send a crew in a small, fast boat to pull up alongside the whale calf and cut the rope. But a sudden storm made it too dangerous, and the rescue was called off.
The rope, snagged around the calf’s left flipper, was believed to be from a fish trap. The traps typically have a steel cage at one end and three floats at the other.
The two whales had ventured into Sydney Harbour yesterday before heading south on the return leg of their annual migration.
At one stage, the calf thrashed around in circles, trying to break free.
Experts warned the mother would be highly protective of her calf and, at around 45 tonnes, is highly dangerous.
It's hoped the whale managed to free itself, and is now continuing the journey south for the annual humpback migration.
7 News / 3 News