That Fateful Day in February 2011

A video coverage of Cabo Expeditions spearheading a humpback whale rescue found its way to the BBC News in England and Latin America, CBS Early Morning Show, Televisa, SKY Net TV and more.  The following details were released to the press.

PRESS RELEASE: On the morning of February 8th, 2011, an unfortunate Humpback whale probably miles upon miles from shore was caught up in a fisherman’s net.  Oftentimes, a whale’s natural tendency can be to swim to shore whereas they may beach themselves.  In this instance, it seemed very likely that this adult-male Humpback whale was headed to the shore with a 75% chance of drowning or being beached, had Cabo Expeditions and the Mexican Navy not gotten to it in time.

Around 10 A.M. local time, a number of phone calls were made from local fishermen on their fishing boats and other whale watching companies to Cabo Expeditions with a whale in distress.  Immediately, the SCUBA diving, boat captain and marine biologist teams prepared themselves. Administrators at Cabo Expeditions notified the Mexican Navy who works in conjunction with whale rescue efforts.

Approximately 1 ½ miles from the shore, in front of the RIU Hotel in Cabo San Lucas, an adult Humpback whale weighing approximately 35 tons with a length of 40 feet had its torso down to the tail wrapped in fishing net.  Cabo Expeditions and the Mexican Navy were ready with a total of 10 people.  One team of divers works in unison with another team who place buoys around the whale as it surfaces and dives down.  The buoys are tied at either of end of a rope, widthwise.  Light-weight hooks are then attached to either side of the net eventually allowing the whale to try and swim free.  The process and cutting away of the net has to be repeated until the whale is completely freed.

By 12 noon, Cabo Expeditions along with the Mexican Navy had successfully freed the fortunate Humpback whale.  Oscar Ortiz, owner of Cabo Expeditions said, “Over the last 7 years now, we have been prepared as a company internally to help save and ultimately rescue whales.  Thankfully, we have also been blessed by saving a total of 10 whales’ lives.  The protection and preservation of these amazing animals is both our passion and mission in Los Cabos.”

Each year, the migration of thousands of whales from the cooling arctic oceans migrate to the warm waters surrounding the Baja Peninsula where the Pacific Ocean meets with the Sea of Cortez.  Annually, from the beginning of December through approximately the second week of April, Los Cabos becomes the Mecca for whale watching on water or sightings from land at local resorts or hotels.

These incredible mammals celebrate over a 10,000-mile journey each year and then repeat this natural process.  Once in a while, a whale will get tangled in a fishing net dozens of miles from the shore.  For some time now, fishermen and their nets have been monitored in Mexico by a variety of governmental agencies who implement standardized regulations.  Fishermen always abide with the fishing regulations but sometimes, a whale will not recognize the hazard and gets tangled inadvertently.