A late crab season has created an especially dangerous situation for whales swimming off the California coast — a common yet beautiful sight over the past few weeks. According to CBS 5, humpback whales are getting tangled in crab pot lines that normally would have been pulled by now. If not freed, the whales can end up with serious injuries. And so a group known as California Whale Rescue has taken to tracking down entangled whales and working to free them.

"The work that we are doing is extremely dangerous," Oceanic Society Outreach Director Kathi Koontz told the channel. "In fact, people in other countries have died doing similar work."

A video, embedded below, shows the delicate process of trying to free a whale from fishing lines.

Crab fisherman are obviously not intentionally catching the whales, and have been notifying authorities whenever they see a whale that needs assistance. “We do see them out there just about every day, and we run up close enough to put the glasses on them to see if there entangled, and if they are we notify NOAA for the rescue team,” Spud Point Crab Company's Tony Anello explained.

The rescuers have special permits from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as without such authorization it is illegal to get closer than 100 yards to a whale. According to their website, the group consists of volunteer "biologists, conservationists, ecologists, fishermen, crab fishermen, whale watching captains, naturalists, entrepreneurs, and many others."

You can report a distressed or entangled whale by calling California Whale Rescue at 877-767-9425.

Related: Watch A Kite-Surfer Get Way Too Close To A Humpback Whale And Then Wipe Out