Morro Bay, CA (AP) – A commercial eel fisherman jumped into the ocean off the central California coast to cut a humpback whale free from entangling ropes.
KNTV reports the rescue occurred last month off Morro Bay as the leviathan struggled to free itself from ropes attached to a buoy.
Nicholas Taron shot video and yelled encouragement as Sam Synstelian leaped from their boat onto the back of the distressed whale, which was swimming in tight circles.
KNTV says the men believe they were successful.
Experts say, however, that it could have turned out badly for the fishermen.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s pacific fisheries spokesman Justin Veizbicke says professional rescuers never get into the water with a whale.