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By Kathryn Robinson

An Australian fisherman says he had a close encounter with a whale when it apparently came looking for help.

Ivan Iskenderian was fishing with some friends in Middle Harbour, Sydney, when he spotted a whale in trouble swimming next to his boat, according to Seven Network, an Australian television network.

"It was lifting its head up and it had a bit of plastic bag and some fishing line on its head," Iskenderian told the network.

Iskenderian said the whale just swam up next to him and his friends.

"I sorta just reached out, (the whale) sorta wanted me to grab it (the plastic bag)," Iskenderian said. "I just picked it up and took it off, ripped it off a bit."

Iskenderian's fishing buddies started cheering when they saw Iskenderian take off the plastic bag.

The whale seemed to be pretty happy, too.

"Then it was just here playing around, seemed quite happy about it," Iskenderian said. "It was really inquisitive ... sort of taking its eye out of the water and looking at us."

The fisherman said nobody let the moment slip by without snapping a picture of the encounter.

"It was surreal," Iskenderian said. "Sorta just touching it."