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Underwater Photo Location: Salina and Lipari islands

Underwater Photo Location: Salina and Lipari islands

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Dramatic Rescue of an Entangled Sperm Whale

In the summer of 1981, Alberto Romeo, his wife Lucia and several members of their underwater association Gruppo Ricercatori ed Operatori Subacquei G.R.O.SUB. set out to observe and photograph dolphins and whales and eggs of giant squid in the southern Mediterranean Sea. Their destination was the 6,500-foot (2000-meter) -deep waters near the Eolie Archipelago between Lipari and Salina Islands.
"The sun was shinning, the sea quiet, no wind" . Then they received a radio message that a whale was trapped in a fishing net nearby and proceeded to investigate. Several hours later they found a 60-foot (18 meter) -long sperm whale caught in an illegal drift net used to catch marlin. "The sperm whale was still breathing! So we immediately entered the water and saw massive injuries to his head," said Romeo. The team, familiar with the need for great caution when approaching a whale, was able to get close enough to the animal and begin to cut away the net while photographers captured the entire event. "He looked at us and we felt that he was understanding that we were saving him!"
As they removed the net from the whale's head his jaws opened for the first time in a long while. "We felt that he understood that we were his friends," commented Romeo. However, they became concerned that the whale's bleeding from its wounds would soon attract sharks. Fortunately, no predators appeared and after removing nearly all of the net, the whale finally began to swim away. "After a few meters and only a little piece of net still attached to its tail he turned to us to say 'thank you' and as silent as we found him, he slowly swam away and out of our sight."

Facts about Salina and Lipari islands
  • It is in Italy
  • Salina and Lipari islands is in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
  • The typical depth is 0-30 Metres 0-100 Feet.
  • The typical visibility is 10-30 Metres 30-100 Feet.
Dive types

Marine Life

Diving facilities

Photo facilities

by Alberto Romeo
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