If you're a trapped whale fighting for your life, Michael Fishbach is about the best person you could have stumble upon you.
Fishbach, one of the founders of The Great Whale Conservancy, was in his boat in the Sea of Cortez with family and friends when stumbled upon a humpback whale trapped in fishing net. It was Valentine's Day of 2011, and what happened next was an appropriate act of love and friendship.
At first, they thought the whale was dead.
"I came upon a young humpback whale that appeared to be dead," Fishbach says in the video. "We floated next to the whale for several minutes, but we saw no signs of light. Suddenly, the whale rose slightly in the water and forcefully exhaled."
Fishbach decides to hop in with his snorkeling gear to assess the situation.
"I quickly discovered the whale was severely entangled in the gale net of the type used by local fishermen... there were no words that I could share but I wanted to let the whale know that we were there to help."
Even though the whale was hurt, Fishbach knew it could kill him in one panicked movement.
"The situation was indeed bleak," Fishbach said. "The tail was entangled in so much gear it was weighted down a full 15 feet below the surface."
After calling for help, it became apparent none would come in time. So Fishbach and his boat mates went to work.
They furiously cut the net off around the whale's fins.
Sensing a spark of freedom, the young whale began to swim, dragging Fishbach and his family behind it!
After the whale tired of tugging along the boat, Fishbach, his family and friends went through one last furious sea of net cutting. Believing that they may have freed the whale entirely, they watched anxiously and it began to swim away from their boat off into the ocean.