RARITAN BAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A rescue effort is underway in New Jersey’s Raritan Bay as the Coast Guard and state police try to free a humpback whale entangled in fishing lines.

The whale is believed to be the same one spotted a year ago and hasn’t been able to shed the line since then. “It’s in the whale’s mouth… wrapped around the top of the head, across the blow hole,” photographer Artie Raslich told CBS2’s Meg Baker.

Humpback whales, like this one seen off Asbury Park, New Jersey, in 2014, can reach lengths of 60 feet and can weigh about 40 tons. (Photo by Artie Raslich/Getty Images)

The Coast Guard has made several attempts to free the whale to no avail.

Monday afternoon state police escorted a disentanglement officer out to find and help the whale off the shores of Keyport, New Jersey.

The Coast Guard is warning boaters in the area to keep a close eye out for the whale and to stay 100 yards away for their safety and for the safety of the giant mammal.

“I think terrible need to be aware of what we are leaving out there being responsible terrible animal out there suffering.” Keyport resident Christina Greenberg said.

Humpback whales can grow up to 50 feet in length, weigh 40 tons, and live for 80 to 90 years.

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