Nfld. & Labrador

Fisherman rescues humpback whale with piece of lumber

A retired fisherman from the Burin Peninsula rescued a Humpback whale by using a two-by-four to pry the animal free.

Whale became entangled in fishing lines during the Easter weekend

A fisherman in southern Newfoundland has been lauded for rescuing a humpback whale that became entangled in fishing lines over the Easter weekend.

Bay L'Argent resident Ned Pardy was heading out on Sunday morning to do some scallop fishing when he discovered a whale who had beached in shallow water.

"I heard a blowing, saw a humpback 20 feet long, in between a wharf and a floating dock," said Pardy.

Pardy said he used a boat hook to remove the ropes — and then used a piece of wood to pry the animal free.

"I went and got a piece of two-by-four and put it up against his head, and pushed him back so far, so he could swing his head out around," said Pardy, who has largely retired from fishing.

"He didn't even move at first, I thought he was dead or dying or something, because he wasn't blowing that much, you know."

Pardy said the whale eventually made its way out into the bay. He said four to five Humpbacks have been seen in the area recently, feeding on small bait in the bay, most likely herring.

Pardy added that a number of porpoise carcasses have washed ashore recently in Bay L'Argent and Jacques Fontaine, another community on the Burin Peninsula. Cold water could be to blame for the deaths. 

When asked by CBC News about his efforts to rescue the whale, Pardy said, "Well, at least I did something good today."