Marine welfare group ORRCA will deploy a vessel this morning to search for a whale seen entangled in yellow buoys near Stockton.

Although the humpback was seen swimming freely at about 2.00pm on Thursday north of Newcastle Harbour, water police couldn’t locate the mammal.

In the meantime, ORRCA is urging skippers of vessels to steer clear of the whale and report any sighting to them on 9415 3333.