Diver frees entangled orca that had been crying for help

An orca that had become entangled in a crayfish pot off a New Zealand beach cried for the help of nearby orcas, but is alive thanks to a local diver who plunged in with a knife and cut the mammal loose. Part of the event was videotaped, and the orca’s cries can be heard in the footage.

The rescue, just a few hundred yards off Hahei Beach, was performed by Rhys Cochrane of a Cathredal Cove dive outfit. The rope attached to the crayfish pot had become twisted around the orca’s tail and, in order to surface and breathe, the mammal had to lift the heavy pot off the ocean floor.

The accompanying video shows only some footage. In the 3 News video report, more footage is revealed and Cochrane explains that when he dove in he could see several other orcas nearby.

The entangled orca, Cochrane explained, became still as he approached with his kinfe. “He didn’t seem to mind or maybe even knew that I was trying to help him,” Cochrane said.

After being freed, the orca joined its family and the mammals disappeared into the blue-green haze.