Family saves whale trapped in net – then surprised by animal’s display of gratitude

Michael Fishbach was out on his boat enjoying a family day out on the water when he was faced with a tough and worrying situation.

He saw what he thought was a dead whale floating in the water. At that moment his relaxing family day out turned into a dramatic situation and one that Michael and his family won’t forget.

humpback whale, rescue, michael fishbach
Image source: The Dodo / Facebook

Michael and his family floated next to it for several minutes observing no signs of life.

Then the whale rose slightly in the water and exhaled and Michael knew there was at least a glimmer of hope, so he jumped into the water to investigate further.

“I quickly realized that the whale was severely entangled in a gillnet, of the type used by local fishermen. As I swam alongside the animal, our eyes met. There were no words we could share but I wanted to let the whale know we were there to help,” Michael said, according to The Dodo.

humpback whale, rescue, michael fishbach
Image source: The Dodo / Facebook

The animal was weighted down with so much fishing gear it was stuck 15 feet below the surface, unable to breathe properly.

Michael saw the seriousness of the situation and knew he had to act fast.

humpback whale, rescue, michael fishbach
Image source: The Dodo / Facebook

Both of its pectoral fins were trapped alongside its body and it was “freaking out” as Michael tried to free it.

Michael managed to free one fin but then decided he had to radio for help only to be told it would probably be an hour before anyone could reach him and by that time it might be too late.

He returned to the boat and with his helpers on board they started cutting at the net as fast as they could to free the desperate animal.

The whale sensed some freedom and started swimming under the boat giving her heroes a whale ride. When she tired they continued cutting at the last of the net and finally she was free at last.

humpback whale, rescue, michael fishbach
Image source: The Dodo / Facebook

The lucky whale swam away but stopped at a safe distance from the boat and gave the family that freed her a beautiful reward.

For almost an entire hour, the whale offered a spectacular show throwing herself up and down and spinning around celebrating her freedom and showing her gratitude. It’s an emotional sight.

humpback whale, rescue, michael fishbach
Image source: The Dodo / Facebook

The moment that Michael and his family celebrate freeing the whale followed by the beautiful display she puts on is a truly remarkable and heart-warming sight.

See for yourself in the clip below.

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