SAN DIEGO — What seemed like a dream moment for a San Diego whale watching excursion, quickly turned into a nightmare recently. The captain of the ship was excited at first when he spotted a humpback whale off the coast of San Diego, but as he drew closer, he knew something was off.  

Pictures from the incident show a disturbing scene as the whale is seen entangled in a net off the San Diego coast.  

"We just saw these colossal splashes [which] pretty much only means one thing: a humpback whale is jumping out of the water, which they are famous for doing,” said Domenic Biagini.  

Biagini is a boat captain with Gone Whale Watching San Diego.  

"As we got a little closer, I saw this color coming off the side of the animal that just didn't look right,” said Biagini. 

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After celebrating seeing the whale, the group realized something was wrong and that they needed to take action.  

That's when I kind of realized this whale was in trouble and it had a giant green gill net draped all over it,” Biagini said. “We went from elation to almost being completely devastated really.” 

The crew documented the situation while also trying to see how it could help. 

Unfortunately, they were unable to help the whale which was still active at a frantic pace. Now the goal is to track it before the netting kills it.  

So, the biggest key is the whale watching community throughout all of Southern California, all the way up to Monterey Bay, California, is probably going to be in communication with one another being on the lookout for this whale so we can have a rescue team ready, if and when it does really start to tire out and slow down,” said Biagini.