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Finnish Coast Guard rescues humpback whale trapped in fish net off west coast

The Finnish Coast Guard came to the rescue of a whale caught in a fish trap on Saturday in the narrow region of the Gulf of Bothnia known as Kvarken.

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The Turku Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) received a call on Saturday afternoon about a whale that had become ensnarled in a fish trap in the waters off the western coastal city of Vaasa.

A unit from the Vallgrund Coast Guard Station was dispatched to disentangle the whale, and was successful in freeing it. The unit reports that the whale did not leave the area once it was saved from its predicament and instead chose to continue swimming nearby.

Turku MRCC director Samu Hiljanen says that the members of the unit that responded to the call believe that the whale in question was a humpback.

The area known as Kvarken, or Merenkurkku in Finnish, separates the northern Bothnia Bay from the more southern Bothnia Sea in the Gulf of Bothnia, the body of water that lies between Finland and Sweden.

The distance from the Swedish mainland to the Finnish mainland is around 80 km at Kvarken's narrowest point, and the water is only around 25 metres deep.

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