The 45-foot long humpback was first spotted off Hawaii's Kona Coast on February 13, but the whale proved difficult to locate, delaying a rescue operation until the whale surfaced in safer waters. A rescue attempt was nixed last Monday when the whale moved into rough seas.
"We decided to stand down and be patient and wait for the weather," Ed Lyman, the marine mammal response manager for NOAA, told West Hawaii Today. "It's hard enough to be towed behind a whale in a calm sea. We had to be patient."