Hero diver rescues a whale entangled in fishing line (Video)

Armed with large knife and a GoPro camera (because, you know, why not), Colaprete donned his diving gear and waited for the 70-ton whale to approach him. Then, with a simple cut of the rope, the rare species — one of just 350 in existence — was freed.

“It was kind of scary at first, but it was real trippy,” Colaprete told a local news station. “As soon as the whale caught up past me and I was parallel to its face and eye, it kind of stopped, which was a trip. He kind of gave me a little window to get down there [to the tangled rope].”

Although Northern right whales have slowly been making a comeback since hunting them was outlawed, human activity continues to be an inadvertent threat to their survival. Each year, biologists record around ten whale deaths from boat strikes and fishing gear entanglements — no small number considering just how few of these creatures remain.

Thanks to the quick-thinking actions of Pat Foster and Adrian Colaprete, however, that grim tally will be less one whale.

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