A desperate search will commence at first light tomorrow for a whale in distress off the coast of Newcastle.
The 12m humpback was last spotted entangled in ropes and dragging a buoy this afternoon around 400m north of Stockton Beach.
High winds and big waves meant conditions were too dangerous for rescue teams to be able to help.
Shona Lorigan from ORRCA is calling for anyone who may spot the whale tomorrow to get in contact.
"We're on the cusp of migration so the whale could go north or south."
"We really need people to to keep an eye out."
"If you see the whale please don't approach it."
The number for ORRCA is 9415 3333.