An experienced diver on a fishing trip near Virginia Beach recently freed an endangered North Atlantic right whale that was tangled in fishing lines.

WVEC reported that Adrian Colaprete was fishing with his friend Pat Foster on July 12 when the pair found the whale caught in fishing lines and struggling to swim.

“You could see the lines wrapped around his pectoral fins,” Colaprete told WVEC. “It was actually dugged into his skin a little bit.”

Armed with a knife and GoPro camera, Colaprete went into the water to see if he could help.

“When the whale slowed down, I had my knife ready,” he said. “And I said I’m going to take the opportunity, swam down there made one single cut.”

Colaprete watched the fishing traps fall to the ocean floor. With one final flip of a tail, the whale swam off.

The footage Colaprete was able to catch is amazing, and while it’s not always wise to approach wildlife, especially stressed animals, this story had a good ending. The whale is lucky two anglers happened by at the right place, at the right time.