After five long hours of trying to free the whale, they were forced to give up. They decided they'd try again the next day, if the whale was still alive.
Audun returned the next day with the coastguard and the fire department. The whale was still alive. A diver managed to finally release it from the cable, and the whale was free. Audun hopes it made a full recovery, but it wasn't spotted again.
Several villages around Tromsø lost their internet and mobile phone connection for several weeks as a result of the rescue. The internet company blamed Audun and the fire department for the disruption and asked them to pay the repair bill of 1.5m Krone (about €145,000).
"Of course," Audun says, "we never paid it."
The picture is one of his personal favourite shots. It's not a nice image, he admits, but it is an important one. "The panic and desperation you can see in the whale's eye makes the picture," he says. "From its scars, you can see how it has been desperately fighting for a long time. You can almost feel its pain.
"You can also see that the picture was taken under hostile conditions. The snowflakes in the air look like stars, and create an atmosphere. This is what I am looking for in a good picture: a story, and that little extra."