A Hawaiian family came to the rescue of an endangered whale shark earlier this month when they discovered a 150-pound rope wrapped around its body.

Marine biologists Kapua Kawelo and Joby Rohrer were swimming with their teenage children off the coast on Lanai, Hawaii when they were awestruck by the rare appearance of the 20-foot shark.

When they saw the tangled fishing net on its neck, however, they were determined to help.

With a small diving knife in hand, Rohrer made five different dives down to depths of 50 to 60 feet so he could slowly and methodically cut the rope free. Though his family members wanted to help, he was the only one who was able to hold his breath for extended periods of time.

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The whale shark seemed to acknowledge the human’s rescue efforts, as it calmly remained in place throughout the 45-minute process.

Finally, Roher managed to cut the rope free and his 15-year-old daughter towed it back to shore so it wouldn’t harm any more sea life.

Brad Norman, who is a National Geographic explorer, states that whale sharks typically swim away when they’re touched, and the fact that it lingered so peacefully was “amazing to see.”

(WATCH the video below)

Be Sure And Share This Whale Of A Tale With Your FriendsPhoto by Kanehoalani Rohrer

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