Joe Howlett, a Canadian man has been killed during a rescue operation after he cut an endangered whale free from tangled fishing lines.
He was a lobster fisherman by trade and a founder of the whale rescue group on Campobello Island, New Brunswick.
Howlett succeeded in rescuing the whale, only to be struck by it moments later as it flipped into the water. he animal was a North Atlantic right whale – an endangered species that may grow to about 15m (50 feet) in length and weigh up to 70 tonnes.
Mackie Green, a friend of Mr Howlett who had founded the rescue team with him, said: “They got the whale totally disentangled and then some kind of freak thing happened and the whale made a big flip.”