California Fisherman Rescues Humpback Whale Tangled in Net

He leaped into the water and climbed aboard the whale back to free it.

A California man risked his life by jumping into the ocean to save a massive humpback whale that was caught in a net. 

Video showed commercial fisherman Sam Synstelien climbing onto the back of the giant humpback while his friend roots him on from the safety of the boat.

The whale thrashes as Synstelien tries to free it. After a few heart-pounding seconds, Synstelien sets the it loose.

Humpback whales can grow to weigh 40 tons, making Synstelien’s actions risky. If he'd been struck by the whale's tail, the situation could have taken a turn for the worse for the good Samaritan. 

Inside Edition spoke to Nicholas Taron, who steered the boat while filming the dramatic rescue.

“If we wanted the whale to survive we had to go get it," he said. “We thought there was no other option for the whale; we decided to go for it. We were so pumped up full of adrenaline, I don't think we were that scared.”