(CNN)It’s not the catch they were expecting, but for one California fisherman and his son — it was the most important catch of the day. Crab fisherman Calder Deyerle and his 5-year old son Miles are being credited by wildlife officials for spotting, reporting and then staying in their boat near an entangled humpback whale. Their actions may have saved the animal’s life.
The adult humpback was seen towing heavy crab fishing lines and floats Tuesday morning 4 miles off the coast of Carmel Highlands, California. Officials say fishing gear had accidentally snagged both sides of the whale’s flukes – the two lobes separating the tail. The father-son team notified authorities who sent out members of the California Whale Rescue (CWR) operation, who used a pole mounted hook knife to release the lines from the animal. After about seven hours, the whale swam off unencumbered and the fishing line was removed from the water.
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