A young humpback whale entangled in crab pot gear was freed Tuesday off the entrance to Grays Harbor.
The whale rescue was the work of a team of three marine mammal researchers from Cascadia Research of Olympia aboard a 5.9-meter, rigid-hulled inflatable boat.
The nearly three-hour rescue occurred several miles from Westport Harbor, with support of a Coast Guard crew in a 47-foot lifeboat.
John Calambokidis described the whale as very approachable and seemed to initiate close contact with the inflatable boat.
The crab line and floats were wrapped around the whale's flukes, but the Cascadia crew was able to cut the line attached to the crab gear and set the whale free.
Markings on the float indicated it was a crab pot from Oregon and it appeared the whale had been entangled for some time.
Once freed about 5:15 p.m., the whale swam away quickly and was not seen again.
The original report of the entangled whale was received by the Coast Guard from the crew of the commercial crab boat Pacific Girl.