By Samantha Grillo @Samantha Grillo
Scroll down for the full story
Videographer / Director: AMS Performance
Producer: Samantha Grillo, Nick Johnson
Editor: Joshua Douglas, Ian Phillips
Using a pole equipped with a knife, a rescue team from the Hawaiian islands was able to cut away several hundred feet of line from its tail.
The 45ft whale was first spotted off the coast of Hamakua, Hawaii, but rescue operations was delayed due to poor weather and sea conditions.
While the whale swam through rough and inaccessible waters, the NOAA Fisheries Science Center and Hawaiian Islands Humpback National Marine Sanctuary teamed up to plan rescue efforts.
Members of the West Hawaii Marine Mammal Response Network successfully tagged and assessed the condition of the whale.
Photos of the animal indicated that there were at least five wraps tangled around its tail.
The giant mammal managed to cruise along the whole island of Hawaii clockwise before rescuers were able to begin efforts seven days later.
Once clear, members of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary rode an inflatable boat just 10ft of the whale near Maui, where it was swimming with a companion.
They attached buoys to the line to slow down the whale and keep it surfaced, allowing them to cut away the line.
The team used a specialised knife on the end of a long pole to cut away the heavy lines that were embedded into its tail and trailing hundreds of feet behind the whale.
Situations like these can often result in drowning, starvation and infections - but the whale was successfully freed after a seven hour operation.