A wildlife guide filmed the dramatic moment a RNLI lifeboat crew saved a distressed humpback whale that had become trapped in fisherman’s ropes in Mount’s Bay.

Isabelle O’Shea captured footage of the crew of the Penlee’s B class Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat the Mollie and Ivor Dent cutting the whale free after it became entangled in lobster pot lines off Newlyn on Easter Sunday at about 3.30pm.

The volunteer lifeboat crew spotted the whale, which they believe to be called ‘Ivy’, after going to the aid of a paddleboarder in difficulty off Rinsey Head between Praa Sands and Porthleven.

Ivy has recently been seen in Porthleven and other locations across the Cornish coast for several months.

Isabelle, known as the ‘Dolphin Lady’, said: “Having driven to Cornwall for the weekend in the hope of seeing a humpback whale, I couldn’t have anticipated the drama that unfolded off Newlyn.

“A humpback whale which has been identified as “Ivy” and seen regularly off Porthleven recently, was spotted off Newlyn entangled in lobster pot lines.

“The local wildlife community was quick to act and British Divers Marine Life Rescue and the large whale disentanglement Team were contacted.

“With the risk to the whale and the shipping community, the Penlee inshore lifeboat crew were able to respond.

“In very rough conditions and in peril from the distressed whale, they were able to free it from the ropes and stayed with it as it gathered itself before going on its way.

“Massive thanks and respect to the four crew members involved.”

Wildlife watching tour boat Marine Discovery Penzance believes the humpback whale suffered a nasty wound after becoming tangled in the lobster pot lines.

A spokesperson said: “On the way back in from our morning tour, we found a humpback whale which had been entangled in lobster pot lines. 

“We had heard that one had been spotted from the shore but there was confusion about the species with it being suggested the animal was either a minke or a fin whale. 

“However after the humpback whale sighting yesterday morning by Pendeen gig club, we suspected it would be the same animal and presumably it was. 

“The poor whale was wound into the ropes, with two drawn tightly across its back and another wrapped round its tail stock, which had caused a nasty wound. 

“It was getting so choppy we had to drop our passengers back in the harbour.

“We then went out with our friends Andy from Atlantic Adventures, Connie from Grampus Campus, and Jack from Coast Boat Trips to monitor the whale, and to see if there was remotely anything we could do. 

“Mark from Blue Shark Snorkel Trips was also on hand to offer safety cover if necessary. 

“There was communication with British Divers Marine Life Rescue and rightly were warned not to attempt any kind of rescue, as the danger to human life was high.

“Once someone gets into trouble in the water, the whale is no longer the focus and the human rescue becomes the priority. 

“We monitored the whale in the choppy sea and BDMLR co-ordinated their whale release team. 

“The whale was at real risk from collision, being in the approaches to Newlyn. 

“In fact, it had a couple of very near misses. 

“Overnight it could have been killed and at an estimated 16-18 metres, it could have done real damage to any vessel, as it was stuck absolutely fast.

“At about 3.30pm the Mollie and Ivor Dent, the Penlee inshore lifeboat, was returning from a shout the other side of the bay. 

“Having the crew and the equipment to attempt it, they managed to cut the whale free. 

“It did a couple of tail slaps (of thanks?) and then swam slowly off. The crew followed it for a mile or two and it seemed to be swimming ok, though as I said, there is a nasty wound to the tail. 

“Massive well done and thanks to the crew of the Mollie and Ivor Dent for getting those lines off. They displayed such skill and perseverance in really difficult conditions. Saving Lives at Sea indeed. Thank you. 

“Hopefully the same thing doesn't happen again. 

“All these humpback whales have been driven inshore for some reason, and it is bringing them straight into areas of human activity, both leisure and commercial. 

“There are thousands of ropes and lines.

“It is like trying to navigate a lethal maze.”