Fishermen Work for Hours to Rescue Killer Whale

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Fishermen aren't out to catch everything in the sea. A group of three Alaskan anglers spent close to four hours freeing a killer whale from some treacherous rocks.

Jason Vonick, a 42-year-old fisherman, spotted the needy animal while he was out preparing for the start of shrimp season with his partners Nick Segal and John Oakes. The group first noticed several killer whales attempting to hunt down seals near an inlet by the fishermen's boat. When the trio saw one of the females accidentally lodge herself in an outcropping of rocks, they knew they had to help. The men anchored their boat and set off on a smaller row boat to get closer.

"She never fought us," Vonick told "She just sat there docile and calm the whole time and let us do what we needed to do. If we stopped petting her, she'd cry some more."

Comfort was the main treatment the fisherman could provided during their four-hour stay with the whale. Unfortunately, the orca became stuck during low tide, making it nearly impossible to move the animal until the water rose once more. While fishermen and fish waited, Vonick and his buddies did their best to keep the whale calm and covered in water.

Thankfully, tides have a habit of running on schedule, and the ocean water returned to cover the whale. After several hours of struggling, the orca still needed help. The female whale was coughing, out of breath and too weak to free herself from the rocks.

"At that point we stuck the oars under her pectoral fins and just tried to pry her off the rock," Vonick shared. "When we realized we could actually move her, we just grunted and groaned and used a lot of force and got her free."

Free from the rocks, the whale took a deep, relieved breath and swam off with her group, which was kind enough to wait for her through the ordeal. Vonick captured the entire encounter on his camera, and posted the footage to YouTube. While Vonick and his fellow fishermen are used to seeing whales during their travels, this is the first time they have had a "Free Willy" experience like this.


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