Mr Husa was washing his whaling vessel when he heard news of the stranded minke whale on the island of Fedje in the west of Norway. He rushed down to the rocky beaches and helped put a rope around the 14 feet long creature.

— It was stuck, and breathing heavily, Husa told the local daily Bergens Tidende's internet edition (

The whaler used a speed boat to pull the whale into deeper waters and let it go.

— I didn't see any point in putting it to death. The whale seemed healthy and it would probably be illegal to kill it.

He won't be trying to track the animal down when the Norwegian whaling season starts in the middle of April.

— I'll let this one go if I see it. It was too young and too small. Maybe next year, he said.

The whaler believes he will recognize the whale he saved if he ever runs in to it again.

— He'll be returning the compliment, said Husa laughing cheerfully.