Dean Gomersall, animal care supervisor at Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, Calif., told ABC News today that rescuers removed about 100 feet of line from the tangled whale on Tuesday before halting because of darkness. More line is still in the whale's mouth and left pectoral fin, he said.
Before leaving the whale Tuesday night, rescuers attached three large, brightly colored buoys so rescuers would be able to locate it this morning.
"The seas are relatively calm so we're hoping somebody spots the whale," Gomersall said. "We're basically waiting right now and hoping that a helicopter or a boat doing usual activities like fishermen and whale watching boats will discover the whale."
"We just ask that if anyone in the general public sees the whale we ask that they not try to help it because it's a very dangerous procedure and this is a very healthy animal. Just stay back and spot the animal and let us know," he said.
The center's number is 949-494-3050.
The whale was first spotted off the coast of Laguna Beach on Tuesday afternoon, center enter spokeswoman Melissa Sciacca said.
The whale is said to be an adult and in otherwise good health. The whale reportedly dragged the rescue boat as many as 10 miles during the rescue effort on Tuesday.
This is the third whale rescue the center has been involved in over the past month. Crews managed to free the other two whales in the earlier rescues.