Ellen: How Captain Dave Anderson Saved a Trapped Whale


Ellen: Whale Rescue

Recently, a Gray Whale became trapped in a fishing net. But a special team spent hours helping the whale break free and saving its life. Ellen DeGeneres invited the captain to tell his story to her audience.

Ellen saw the story of Captain Dave Anderson on the Internet, and she asked him to tell his story from the beginning. Captain Dave said he got a call while he was on his way to dinner with his wife Gisele when he got a phone call.


Ellen: Whale Rescue

Captain Dave Anderson said that Southern California is home to the world's largest dolphin & blue whale populations.

Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Safari

Dave’s business is whale watching, and if you’re ever in Dana Point, you can check him out at Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari. Southern California is home to more Dolphins and Blue Whales than anywhere else in the world, and I know this story is about whales, but dolphins are pretty awesome, and I think I need to price a dolphin safari, so I’ll be right back.

I won’t be heading out to visit the dolphins anytime soon, but it sounds like Dave will be taking great care of them in the meantime. He said he got a call from one of his employees reporting that a Dolphin was stuck in a net.


Ellen: How Dave Saved A Whale

Dave turned the car around to see what he could do to help the whale. An hour later, he and his team were with the whale and managed to get a buoy attached to the net before nightfall. The purpose of this is so they could locate the whale the next day in the light.

Ellen explained that it’s harder than it sounds to free a whale from a fishing net. In this case, Dave said the whale’s flukes had knotted netting wrapped around them, with the rest of the net trailing behind it for about 50-100 feet.

Ellen: How To Rescue A Whale

The team used special knives to hook into the net, and they had to wait for the whale to reach the surface, because otherwise their poles wouldn’t reach. The entire rescue process the second day took eight hours.

One of their control lines snapped, and the whale pulled some huge buoys down underwater with it. “The whale stayed down for a long time. All of a sudden, the buoys popped up, and the whale popped up a little further away,” he said. “It was free, and we were so happy.”

Ellen: Dramatic Whale Rescue

Ellen said the whale even came up to the boat and thanked the teams for their help. They say these animals are very smart, so that’s believable.

Dave explained that the whale came right up to the boat, with its head out of the water, and even moved its mouth as if to say “thank you.” He said the whale was close enough to touch.


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