A retired Trenton firefighter rescued two fishermen when a whale capsized their boat off Long Branch Thursday.
Former Capt. Gary Szabo rushed into action when he heard a "mayday" over the radio while out Fluke fishing on his boat. The caller, Szabo recounted, said a boat was flipped by a whale, launching people into the water.
"It caught my ear," he said of the unusual report.
The former fire department diver found two men in the water, clinging to their 25-foot overturned vessel. Video of the rescue shows one man swim toward Szabo's boat and be helped aboard from a dive ladder. A second fisherman, seen sitting on his capsized craft, was also pulled to safety by Szabo.
"We watched the whale ... and all of the sudden the boat just goes whee and it's gone," one of the just-rescued fishermen explained in the GoPro video after being helped aboard.
The area was teeming with baitfish, apparently attracting a whale before the creature flipped the fishing boat about 50 yards from the beach, Szabo added. One man appeared to have suffered a small cut, but they were otherwise not hurt.
"They were in good spirits," Szabo said. "They're going to be sore in the morning."