Fishermen free whale trapped in net off NJ

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Captain Frank Noto told Fox 5 the tale of how he and his fellow fishermen John Mosca and Sal Gatto saved a whale.

The three friends were fishing off Ocean County, New Jersey, when they spotted a humpback whale caught in a commercial fishing net. They called the Coast Guard but it was an hour away.

"We got close enough. It was breathing heavy. He wasn't getting enough air because the net was wrapped up in its face. We decided to do the right thing and free this whale," said Noto.

Using the knives they have to cut bait, the fishermen cut the netting off the whale. When they freed the last line about an hour later, the whale blew out of its blowhole, kicked its tail, and swam off.

"We did it about a dozen times. He was nervous at first but he gave us the opportunity to get the nets with a filet knife," said Noto.

"I was nervous from the beginning. It is difficult to explain what it looks like up close. It's impressive," said Gatto.

"When he knew he was free he went right into the deep water," said Noto.