The go-to explanation for a scar somewhere on your person is “yeah I fought a shark” which, granted, is a pretty impressive feat, but the only reason a fight would have broken out between a shark and yourself is because you were encroaching on its domain.

Very rarely does anyone opt for the other angle in their stories of grandeur. What sounds better, “I fought a shark because I was trespassing in its house” or “I saved a whale from certain death when no-one else would”?

It’s the whale thing… I think? It’s definitely close.

Well anyway, saving a whale is exactly what one man, Sam, did when he was on an eel fishing expedition. When Sam and his crew were on the way back home after a commercial fishing trip off the coast of California, they noticed a whale tangled in a fishing line – not their own – and had to intervene.

Sam’s coworker, Nicholas, shot footage of Sam saving the whale, but said of the situation:

We were coming in from fishing and there was a white buoy that was wrapped around the whale’s tail.

He was, like, splashing on the water’s surface.

Sam, Nicholas and co. spent around three hours trying to save the whale, calling in the coast guard and inching closer to the animal in peril.

Nicholas went on:

We saw this big old whale tangled up in all that rope.

That one rope was still holding him down to the ocean floor, and the whole time he was swimming in very tight counter-clockwise circles because all that rope was still attached to the bottom of the ocean.

It’s sort of remarkable how bad camera quality gets the minute something cool happens…

Two hours in, the coastguards said they could do nothing to help, so the crew of the fishing boat took matters into their own hands.

That’s when we decided to get Sam in the water,” Nicholas explained.

Sam jumped into the ocean and managed to shimmy his way up the whale’s back. At first he struggled, but the whale eventually played ball, and let him help.

He jumped in, was able to crawl up his back, and right then that whale fluke almost hit the phone out of my hand.

This is going to sound super crazy.

But when the coastguard told us there was nothing else we could do, just let it be, I turned up the volume really loud on the VHF radio and yelled at the whale and told him to listen, and no one else was coming for him, and we’re his only hope, and he better lay still and let us do this or else he’s going to die.

And this is going to sound super crazy, but he did.

The whale whisperer… shouter?

Well whatever works works, even if you do have to channel your inner Dory.

And hey, fair play to Sam – he’s a braver man than me.

Images via Newsflare