A diver on the Gold Coast in Australia turned out to be a hero after a drone operator spotted a baby humpback whale tangled in shark nets off Burleigh Headland, on Tuesday 19 May.

The drone pilot reportedly contacted authorities, but received no assistance. Luckily a local diver known only as ‘Django’, was nearby on his boat and came to the whale’s rescue, cutting the nets with a knife.

The man told ABC Gold Coast that the whale swam off unhurt. He said:

‘He just had his pectoral fin sort of wrapped up and he was about eight to nine metres deep’

With a cruel and ironic twist of fate, the story continued. Australian authorities were looking to issue Django a hefty fine as approaching a whale in the wild is against local laws as is entering the ‘exclusion zone’ around shark nets.

Australians lauding Django for his efforts have come together to support him, however, and launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money he would need to pay the fine. 500 separate donations have poured in, and total over AUS14,000.

Fisheries Queensland decided to let Django off with two Fisheries Infringement Notices for entering the exclusion zone around shark control program equipment off Burleigh Heads, saying that in situations like these, the public should rather ‘allow professionals to do their job.’

The money raised in the campaign for Django will now be donated to a non-profit marine research foundation.

Watch the heroic rescue operation here:

Cover Image: ABC Gold Coast