Fishermen Spot Huge Shadow Underwater, on Closer Look, They Go on High Alert

August 30, 2019 Updated: September 5, 2019

A group of fishermen in the waters in Sydney’s Middle Harbor, Australia, were apprehensive when they saw a giant shadow lurking under the surface near their boat. Whatever it was, and for whatever reason, it seemed like it was staring straight at the fishermen and intentionally headed right for them.

When they realized what was headed their way, though, their fears quickly dissipated—and what started out as a potential escape situation turned into an urgent rescue mission.

The fishermen were just off Killarney Point and headed back to the dock when they first spotted the mysterious shadow beneath the waves.

In the ocean, any number of things could be lurking just beneath the surface, and the crew immediately went on high alert.

At first, the fishermen thought they were just lucky to be approached by a whale. Then, they realized the animal was asking for help.

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The fishermen waited tentatively to see just what they were dealing with, growing apprehensive as the shadow drew nearer.

Before long, though, they realized that it wasn’t hostile—but rather, it was a southern right whale, or baleen whale, tangled up in a plastic bag and some fishing line, struggling amidst its entanglement.

According to Ivan Iskenderian and Michael Riggio, two of the men aboard the vessel, their nerves immediately gave way to the determination to help the whale.

Photo courtesy of Ivan Iskenderian

It almost appeared as if this whale was knowingly pleading for help; it followed along after the boat, closing in as if seeking their aid.

Then, Iskenderian jumped into action. Once the whale swam close enough and popped its head up, Iskenderian leaned out of the boat to untangle the rubbish tucked around it, grabbing them away.

Alluding to the special moment that happened in August 2015, Iskenderian told The Sydney Morning Herald: “It was a bit daunting but the whale was very calm.”

A couple of stills

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Meanwhile, Ron Kovacs, who was nearby on another boat, filmed the amazing encounter. And Riggio snapped a “once-in-a-lifetime” selfie with the southern right whale.

“It wasn’t fazed by us being there at all. I took a selfie when it popped up. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I never thought I’d be that close to a whale,” Riggio said.

Photo courtesy of Michael Riggio

“I couldn’t believe it; We were just laughing, we didn’t say anything. We just could not believe what was happening,” Iskenderian said, KDVR reported.

As the whale swam to freedom, it raised and slapped a fin, seemingly thanking them for lending a helping hand.

“Apparently that’s what they do when they’re relaxed. It seemed quite happy. It could have been a kind of thank you,” Iskenderian said.

Boaties Help Whale In Sydney

Remarkable scenes in Middle Harbour as two men remove a plastic bag from a whale's face. MORE: Stories from 7 News #Whale #FirstOn7

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Ocean creatures are often at the mercy of man-made debris, which can put their lives at risk as a consequence.
That was the case with this whale. Had that line remained tangled around the whale’s head, it could have easily prevented the animal from eating or caused serious abrasions.

The crew applauded after the heroic endeavor was completed successfully. “That’s what he wanted all the way along,” announced one of the men.

It was a quick rescue but an important one. With many endangered sea animals, such as the right whale, an opportunity to save one is a huge win.

Watch the video: