Whale freed from shark nets off Noosa Beach
UPDATE 11.20AM: A humpback whale trapped in shark nets off Noosa Main Beach has been cut free.
Rescue teams comprised of the Coastguard, the Sunshine Coast shark net contractor and the Fisheries department managed to free the whale about 11.10am.
Images captured by the Channel 9 helicopter show the whale swimming away.
"He sat there for a few minutes and then he was," a Coastguard spokesman said.
"At one point there was a call for an extra vessel. They had some rescue divers trained for these situations out there. I believe they weren't able to just pull the nets off.
"They had to be cut off. Once the divers entered the water it probably took about an hour and then the whale was free."
Divers had earlier entered the water to try and release the end of the net that has ensnared the whale about 1km to sea directly in front of Noosa's Main Beach.
The whale was either an adolescent or adult of about 6-10 metres in length.
The whale was first spotted by beach goers who could see it spouting about 500m offshore but not moving at 6.30am this morning.
Rob Neely said about 10 people gathered to watch the drama some using binoculars which revealed the whale had pulled a number of shark net buoys together.
Mr Neely, who a couple of months ago pulled a dying shark from the water at Main Beach while a larger shark circled offshore, said there was no chance he was going to attempt a whale rescue.
Instead he called the Coastguard who contacted fisheries.