Crews successfully disentangle distressed humpback whale

SANDY HOOK, N.J. (AP) - Crews have successfully disentangled a humpback whale that got caught in material in waters off New Jersey.

The juvenile whale - estimated to be more than 30-feet-long - was freed Wednesday. It had been spotted in the Raritan and Sandy Hook bays in recent days.

Officials say the whale had a piece of gill net - a type of netting used in commercial fishing - wrapped around its mouth, forming a closed loop around its blowhole.

Numerous responders - including federal, state and local authorities and a disentanglement team from the nonprofit Center for Coastal Studies - worked together Wednesday to free the whale. They used a custom-designed hook-shaped knife, attached to a roughly 15-foot-long pole, to slice the piece of netting.

The whale was not harmed.

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