Thursday October 15, 8.30pm
Whale Patrol follows the remarkable and perilous journey of nearly 17,000 humpback whales from their summer feeding grounds in the Antarctic to breeding sites in tropical waters off the west coast of Australia. It’s a journey they have made for thousands of years, and it’s fraught with danger.
With breathtaking whale footage and unprecedented access, Whale Patrol is the exhilarating and moving story of the fight to protect the migrating whale population off the coast of Western Australia.
While the encroaching winter storms can wreak havoc of their own, the whales’ greatest threat is man made – a potentially fatal obstacle course of nets, buoys and ropes. Entanglement can mean a slow and painful death for a humpback whale, but thankfully, a team of elite wildlife officers led by whale rescue veteran Doug Coughran are on alert. They are, the whale patrol.
Whale Patrol is a world first. With unprecedented access to a highlyskilled whale disentanglement crew, it captures the drama, action and raw emotion of whale rescue through the eyes of the environmental heroes who are at the coalface.
It’s whale season. The emergency calls are coming thick and fast and Doug and his team are quick to react. Freeing a distressed 30,000kg whale in dangerous seas is not for the fainthearted, but with 30 years of whale rescue experience, Doug is up to the challenge. Relying on his vast knowledge of whale behaviour and the skill, speed and razor-like precision of his crew, Doug frees an entangled humpback. Luckily for this one, the injuries are not debilitating and it’s quickly on the move, danger averted for now. But for the whale patrol, this is just the beginning…
It’s not just those whales that run into trouble at sea. When a young calf loses its way and gets beached in the shallows, it’s too late to help and Doug and his crew are faced with the first heart-breaking casualty of the season. But there’s little time for reflection. With more sightings and emergency calls coming through, Doug and his crew are soon away to investigate a new entanglement sighting.