VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — A man aboard a fishing charter off the coast of Virginia Beach freed a rare right whale that was caught in fishing line.

A video taken by Adrian Colaprete and posted online shows him jumping into the ocean and using a knife to cut the whale free, then whooping as it swims away. Colaprete was aboard a fishing charter about 50 miles off the Virginia Beach coast late last week when the boat came upon the whale.

“It’s something bigger than me,” Colaprete told WVEC-TV, “and I had the feeling when I accomplished it and I was done with it, it was probably one of the best feelings of my life.”

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center said that the whale was, in fact, a rare right whale. Right whales are endangered, and 350 North American right whales exist in the wild, according to the Defenders of Wildlife.

“(Colaprete) cut one of the lines and freed him. All the gear went down to the bottom. Whale safely sailed away. Happy ending. Glad to be part of it,” Pat Foster, the boat’s owner, told WAVY-TV.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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