Rescue teams attempted to free a seven-metre humpback whale caught in ropes and other debris in Loves Bay, Kiama on Saturday afternoon.
A National Parks and Wildlife Service spokeswoman said four members of the organisation’s whale disentanglement team responded to alerts about 4pm.
‘‘The team reached the whale which was caught in ropes, buoys and other marine debris and was able to cut a few of the buoys off,’’ she said.
‘‘However the team was forced to return to shore because of high seas and as it was getting dark.
‘‘When they went out again at first light on Sunday morning, the whale had obviously been able to free itself and was gone.’’
The NPWS spokeswoman urged anyone who had since seen the whale, which had an orange buoy and other debris still attached, to contact the ORRCA 27-hour hotline on 94153333.
‘‘We would advise anyone not to try to free any injured marine mammal themselves as these animals are usually in distress and special training is needed to approach and help them,’’ she said.
‘‘We have special crews which operate up and down the coast.’’