This whale of a tale has a happy ending.
On Sunday, swimmers at the Coromuel water park in La Paz, Mexico, noticed a juvenile humpback whale seemed to be having difficulty swimming, according to Octavo Dia, an online news site.
The swimmers notified Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (PROFEPA), a Mexican environmental protection agency, which worked with volunteers for two hours to save the struggling mammal.
Video shows how the rescuers cajoling the creature into deeper water and using ropes attached to boats to try to tow it off the shoal.
According to GrindTV, the whale became stranded during low tide beyond El Coromuel Beach, north of La Paz. The whale apparently swam into La Paz Bay from the nearby Sea of Cortez.
On Tuesday, Jonathan Roldan, who runs Tailhunter International, a sportfishing business in La Paz, spoke about the rescue on the "Phil Friedman Outdoors" radio program. Roldan said the beached "baby humpy" caused quite a stir: Cars apparently stopped all along the ridge, and people were watching the rescue through binoculars.
"Everybody in town was out there" trying to help, Roldan said, describing the whale as clearly struggling.
"I looked like a lost cause, but they finally got it off," he said. "It raised its fin as if to say goodbye and swam right out the bay."
Huge but gentle creatures, humpbacks can often be found near coastlines, according to National Geographic. They can grow to more than 60 feet in length and weigh more than 40 tons. Humpbacks are currently considered an endangered species.