Humpback whale
Humpback whale (not pictured). LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images

A humpback whale has been freed by rescuers in Hawaii after it became entangled in 285ft of braided rope.

The rescue, which was coordinated by the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, freed the whale, which had become trapped off Makena Beach on Hawaii's island of Maui.

A fishing vessel first spotted the animal on Thursday (January 12) and contacted officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Marine experts were sent out on an inflatable boat the following day.

NOAA officials said the animal had become 'very active' when rescuers approached, and they decided to wait for it to settle down before commencing their operation.

Rescuers managed to cut the 3/8 braided line from the mouth of the animal, allowing it to break free and escape.

The huge beast, which sometimes grows up to 50ft in length and can weigh 50 tonnes, was seen jumping out of the ocean three times after it was set free.

"On release, the animal immediately breached several times," NOAA said. "With the removal of gear, it is believed that the animal has an excellent chance of surviving."

Authorities have asked others to remain vigilant of trapped whales but reminded sailors it is outlawed to approach within 100ft of humpbacks, and all rescues must be conducted by trained professionals.