Flipping amazing … the moment a humpback & # 39; thanks & # 39; rescuers who save death entangled in fishing nets
A humpback whale freed from almost a certain death by three men off the coast of California paid the aid back to its rescuers with a breathtaking display of breaches and dives.
The amazing hour-long performance was recorded on camera after the creature was cut away from fishing nets.
When the boat encountered the whale, it was stuck with its tail and flippers hopelessly entangled in the nets.
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Helping hand: Michael Fishbach and his two friends help cut the net off the helpless humpback
The whale guards first thought that the humpback whale was already dead because it was floating on top of the water.
But then it breathed loudly through its hole.
Michael Fishbach decided it was best to dive into the water and snorkel alongside the affected whale.
He said: & # 39; While I was swimming next to the animal, our eyes met.
& # 39; There were no words we could share, but I wanted to let the whale know that we were there to help.
& # 39; It took some effort to stay focused, given the great emotion of the moment.
& # 39; The sight of this large and beautiful creature that was trapped and so close to death was almost overwhelming.
Danger: the huge creature could easily have toppled the boat, but the rescue workers were determined to cut the nets away
& # 39; I have to admit that I was a little scared because I knew the whale was scared and tired, but could still kill me with one panicky move. & # 39;
He said the whale's tail was so entangled that it was about 15ft heavier.
Michael got back on the boat and tried to cut the net off the whale with a small knife.
The three managed to free one of the fins, but the whale felt freedom and swam away and pulled the boat.
But eventually it reappeared and more net was cut away.
After about an hour of work, the whale was completely free.
They pulled the remaining fishing net onto the boat and watched the whale give a dramatic show of freedom.
Spectacular: the enormous whale shows its splendor as it jumps out of the water
The next hour, they watched the whale breakthrough about 40 times and then plunged their tails above the water.
Michael said: & We all believed it was at least a show of pure joy, if not thanks.
& # 39; We were all proud and delighted to have saved this fantastic young life.
& # 39; It was an incredible experience that none of us will ever forget. & # 39;
On the video you can hear a little girl say: & I know what she is doing. She shows us that she is free.
Her mother answers her: & # 39; I think she is showing us a thank you. & # 39;
Michael spends two months every winter shooting whales in the Sea of Cortez.
He is the co-founder of the Great Whale Conservancy (GWC) Blue Whale Protection Program, set up to protect whales along the California coast from injury and death from a strike.
Thanks: The whale performed about 40 cracks and hits in the hour after it was released
The entire rescue was recorded on camera off the coast of California
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