Humpback whale ‘thanks’ rescuers who saved him from dying entangled in fishing nets



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Amazing flip… the moment when a humpback whale ‘thanks’ the rescuers who saved it from dying, entangled in fishing nets

A humpback whale rescued from near-certain death by three men off the coast of California returned the favor to its rescuers with a breathtaking display of breaching and diving.

The amazing hour-long feat was captured on camera just after the creature was cut free from fishing nets.

When the boat encountered the whale, it was trapped with its tail and fins hopelessly entangled in the nets.

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Helping Hand: Michael Fishbach and his two friends help cut the helpless humpback whale’s net

The whale watchers first thought the humpback whale was already dead when it floated on top of the water.

But then it let out a loud sigh through its blowhole.

Michael Fishbach decided it was best to get in the water and snorkel next to the stricken whale.

He said, ‘As I swam beside the animal, our eyes met.

“There were no words to share, but I wanted to let the whale know we were here to help.

“It took some effort to stay focused given the great emotion of the moment.

“The sight of this great and beautiful being trapped and so close to death was almost overwhelming.

Danger: The huge creature could have easily overturned the boat, but the rescuers were determined to cut the nets

“I must admit I was a little scared because I knew the whale was scared and tired, but could still kill me with one panicked move.”

He said the whale’s tail was so entangled that it weighed about 15 feet.

Michael got back on the boat and tried to cut the net off the whale with a small knife.

The trio managed to free one of the fins, but the whale sensed freedom and swam away, dragging the boat with it.

But eventually it resurfaced and more was just cut away.

After about an hour of work, the whale was completely free.

They hauled the remaining fishing net onto the boat and watched as the whale put on a dramatic show of freedom.

Whale breaks out of the water

Spectacular: the huge whale shows its splendor when it jumps out of the water

Over the next hour, they saw the whale breach about 40 times and then dive down as it swung its tail above the water.

Michael said, “We all believed it was at least a show of pure joy, if not thank you.

“We were all proud and excited to have saved this amazing young life.

“It was an incredible experience that none of us will ever forget.”

In the video, a little girl can be heard saying, “I know what she’s doing. She shows us that she is free.

Her mother replies, “I think she’s showing us a little thank you dance.”

Michael spends two months every winter photographing whales in the Sea of ​​Cortez.

He is the co-founder of the Great Whale Conservancy (GWC) Blue Whale Protection Program, created to protect whales along the California coast from injury and death from ship strike.

Whale breaks out of the water Whale breaks out of the water

Thanks: The whale made about 40 breaches and tail flaps in the hour after it was freed

Whale breaks out of the water Whale breaks out of the water

The entire rescue was caught on camera off the coast of California


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