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Rescue team and whale’s acrobatics help save it from dangerous entanglement in B.C.

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A 10-metre-long humpback whale entangled in fishing gear in British Columbia’s Strait of Georgia has been rescued with the help of a team of experts, a drone, a satellite tag, concerned citizens and an acrobatic twist from the captive itself.

The impressive manoeuvring was all accomplished with an even more impressive audience looking on. The trapped animal had a group of companion whales swimming by its side the entire time.

Paul Cottrell, the Pacific marine mammal rescue lead for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, said calls about a whale caught in a fishing line pulling a yellow buoy began coming in last Thursday.

Though rescuers spent the whole day looking, it wasn’t until the next morning, when a whale-watching crew spotted and tracked the animal off the Gulf Island of Texada, that officials were able to come and place a satellite tag on the trailing gear.

“So that was huge. Then we could relax a little bit because we would be able to find the animal by the satellite tag,” Cottrell said.

With the tag as a guide, the team was able to converge on the animal and release a drone to get a closer look at exactly how it was tied up by the rope.

“We could get a really good bird’s-eye view. We knew exactly how the gear was through the mouth,” he said.

“There was a buoy on the left side, or the port side of the animal, through the mouth and then on the right side, there was a line protruding … trailing much behind the animal, much behind the buoy. “

Cottrell said they learned they were dealing with about 90 metres of polysteel rope, along with the buoy and prawn fishing gear. The strong, abrasive rope was caught in the whale’s mouth and had already begun wearing away flesh.

“That rope in the mouth would prevent the animal from successfully foraging so it was being impacted that way,” Cottrell said.

“The rope can continue to wear into the flesh and sometimes be ingested. So it can be definitely a lethal situation.”

The rescuers also had to deal with three other humpback whales swimming by the trapped animal’s side.

Despite also the commotion, two of the whales remained next to the trapped animal, and the rescue boats, the entire time, Cottrell said.

“It complicated things significantly because not only were we worried about the animals getting entangled in that trailing gear from being so close to the whale, also how they would react once we started working … to remove the gear.”

He said encounters with companion animals, particularly a group of this size, are rare. In his more than 50 rescues, it was the first time he’d seen a group this large.

“They do travel together and often you’ll get the same animals travelling together. Why they chose to continue with this animal when it was under duress and entangled? We don’t know,” he said.

A rescue plan was hatched and the team began slowly cutting line away from one side of the whale’s mouth hoping that with one side clear the remaining rope would more easily slide out.

With the drone operator monitoring the whales so the boat drivers could react to any change in behaviour, the team spent four hours clearing half the entanglement before putting a small amount of tension on the other side.

That’s when the whale took over.

“The animal reacted to that tension and did a spyhop up and a backflip … it actually just popped all the line out,” Cottrell said.

“So, the plan worked perfectly.”

Cottrell said the rescue would not have been possible without the seven calls about the whale that came in over the span of two days including from citizens, a ferry boat captain and the whale-watching crew.

In the end, rescuers were able to use the drone to follow the liberated whale – and its companions – as they swam away together.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2022.

 

Ashley Joannou, The Canadian Press

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Ugochukwu scores in 82nd, Chelsea salvages 2-2 tie with Wrexham in friendly at Levi’s Stadium.

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Lesley Ugochukwu scored in the 82nd minute to help Chelsea salvage a 2-2 tie with Wrexham in a friendly match Wednesday night at Levi’s Stadium.

Ugochukwu rolled a shot from the middle of the box through traffic into the right corner.

Wrexham took a 2-1 lead when Jack Marriot scored on a counterattack in the 72nd minute.

Luke Bolton also scored for Wrexham, the Welsh team co-owned by actor Ryan Reynolds that was promoted this year to the third tier of English soccer.

“It’s important that we show the Wrexham spirit we’ve been known for the last few years,” Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson said.

“We had to dig deep at times and tonight we did that again. Whether it’s preseason or not you want to see that kind of spirit we’ve kind of built a reputation. We’re representing a working-class town and a fantastic area and we’ve got to reflect that with our performances.”

Christopher Nkunku scored first for Chelsea in the perennial Premier League power’s first preseason match and its first under manager, Enzo Maresca, the former Leicester City manager.

“I’m very happy about the performance in general because in this moment, if we think that we started just two weeks ago, it’s important that as a staff and in general people can start to see the identity of the team and I think tonight it was quite good,” Maresca said.

Nkunku fired a shot from the middle of the box into the left corner of the net past goalie Arthur Okonkwo in the 35th minute off an assist from Marc Guiu after a corner kick.

Wrexham tied it in the 58th minute when Bolton scored from the right wing off an assist from Sebastian Revan, who connected with Bolton on a crossing pass.

Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez blocked a breakaway shot from James McLean in the 29th minute.

Chelsea beat Wrexham 5-0 in a friendly last season.

___ AP soccer:

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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Clayton Kershaw excited to be returning to Dodgers’ rotation at a pivotal time

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw’s return to the rotation was once expected to be an added bonus as the Los Angeles Dodgers geared up for a postseason run.

It turns out, the longtime ace is coming back at a pivotal time.

When Kershaw takes the mound Thursday afternoon against the rival San Francisco Giants, manager Dave Roberts and Dodgers executives are hoping the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner can bring stability to a rotation beset by injuries most of the season.

“I’m excited to get back,” Kershaw said before the Dodgers faced the Giants on Wednesday night. ”It’s been a long time. Longest time I’ve ever spent not pitching in a big league game. Obviously, once you get back out there you’ve just got to perform.”

Kershaw’s return from offseason shoulder surgery ended up being on schedule. The left-hander said at the start of spring training that he thought July or August would be when he could come back.

He made three minor league rehab starts, but was shut down for a week after his first appearance on June 19 because of lingering soreness. Kershaw went four innings and threw 67 pitches (49 strikes) in his last rehab outing Friday for Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowing three runs and six hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

Roberts said the same guardrails would be in place as when Kershaw returned last season after missing 35 games due to soreness in his left shoulder.

He went five innings in his first two starts last August. He threw 67 pitches in the first outing and 71 on five days’ rest in the second.

“I think watching as far as stressful innings. If a pitch count kicks up in an inning or back-to-back high pitch counts. Not even overall total pitches,” Roberts said. “The most important part is getting him built up and ready for October.

“It has been a long process for him, and we’ve got coverage, so whatever happens, we’ll be prepared for that.”

The 36-year-old Kershaw has been adamant that he expects to return to his old form soon. Despite pitching with shoulder pain all last season, he went 13-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 131 2/3 innings over 24 starts.

“The road back, being able to get back, a lot of people spent a lot of time trying to help me,” Kershaw said Wednesday. “It means a lot to a lot of different people. That’s pretty humbling. Overall, definitely excited to get back.”

Who else will be with Kershaw in the rotation remains a work in progress.

Tyler Glasnow came off the injured list and started Wednesday night after missing two weeks due to back tightness. Glasnow and Gavin Stone are tied for the team lead in starts with 18.

James Paxton, who also started 18 games, was designated for assignment on Monday.

The Dodgers are still missing Walker Buehler (right hip inflammation) and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (right rotator cuff).

Buehler threw a bullpen Tuesday, with a minor league rehab stint likely on deck. Yamamoto is on a throwing program but has yet to begin working off a mound. He isn’t expected back until possibly late August.

Los Angeles has stayed atop the NL West thanks to the contribution of rookies. The Dodgers are 27-18 when a rookie starter is on the mound.

Rookie pitchers have started 45 games for the Dodgers this season and are 17-8 with a 3.00 ERA. Stone leads the team in wins with nine, while Landon Knack, Justin Wrobleski and River Ryan are expected to get more starts over the next month.

Even with 13 pitchers starting a game this season, the Dodgers’ rotation has the fifth-lowest ERA in the NL (3.91) and is holding opponents to a .234 batting average, second-best in the league.

While Kershaw didn’t know what to expect after having surgery for the first time in his baseball career, he is happy to be preparing for a start.

“There were a couple speed bumps that were part of the process. I’m thankful I went through it and now on the back side,” he said.

ROSTER MOVES

In addition to activating Glasnow, the Dodgers signed 34-year-old shortstop Nick Ahmed — a Gold Glove winner with Arizona in 2018 and 2019. Los Angeles infielder Miguel Rojas was placed on the 10-day injured list with right forearm tightness, retroactive to July 22. Knack was optioned to Triple-A and right-hander Ricky Vanasco was designated for assignment.

___

AP MLB:

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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Women’s Rights: How to Achieve What Women Want

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A strategy placing women out front and personal with those who deny their full rights and expectations.

1. The first stage will go something like this folks. Women will unite together with a universal message that is clear and understandable even for men.

Equality is a Human Right– A Sexual Right – A Socio-Political Necessity

Through public marches, protests and mass gatherings women will voice their displeasure on how they have been treated in the past, the present and how they fear for themselves and generations to come. Fear that the future has little to offer the girl of the next generation. Mass education schemes will be devised and presented to all people in all nations, rich or poor, white or non-white, to all genders alike.

2. The second stage will be initiated if men and their female allies do not respond to the above propaganda messages demanding equal rights, equal pay for similar jobs performed, and full educational opportunities no matter the nation, race or creed.

A Full Strike will be had in which all women will withhold their sexuality and affection from their partners, mostly men. The length of this strike and its nature in reality will depend upon the women’s culture and political circumstances. Full denial may be expressed in such a way that men will be denied the following…

No intimacy, no sexual contact with a woman
Usual housework will be curtailed and fall upon men.
The care of children will fall to their male parents and guardians

The LGBTQ Community will be asked to fully support this strike as partners in the struggle for Human and Women’s Rights advocates.

3. Should this strike be met with partner or legislative aggression a third stage will be initiated. Should men not respond favourably to the above-mentioned stages of Women’s struggle to be free of male dominance and control financially, economically, culturally, socially and politically this third extreme stage will be initiated.

All Women will take Religious Orders, pledging themselves to their deity through the vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. This action will threaten the very future of humanity. Through the vow of chastity, all women will be faithful to their deity by not having sex. The future of the human Race will be threatened by this action.

Could men be so ignorant and self-centred as to not realize that by their historic actions, women have been oppressed, sexually and financially used, denied of their constitutionally promised rights and established as second-class citizens in most nations globally?

Women must take up the mantel offered to them by Gandhi, Dr. King, Jesus and many other men who recognized the importance of womanhood. Women globally have only one ability, one tool of change available to them…to deny men. As men are denied the rights they have to women, women can deny themselves to these same men.

Martin Luther King Jr once said, “A right delayed is a right denied”. Women have delayed their taking action against the historic, cultural manly oppression they have experienced since time immemorial. The world exists in division, poverty and extreme financial distress. Women can offer the motherly comfort and care a world like our needs. Men have messed up our historic pathway towards peace and unity. Give women a chance.

Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario
skaszab@yahoo.ca

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