VANCOUVER -- A group of B.C. fish farmers captured an epic battle between an octopus and an eagle on video Monday off the northwestern coast of Vancouver Island.

“We could hear a bunch of screeching and water splashing sounds,” said John Ilett, manager of Mowi Canada West fish farm.

He explained the encounter came as crews were just about to wrap up work for the day near Quatsino, B.C.

At first glance, it looked like a stalemate between two predators that had seemingly bitten off more than they could chew.

After taking a closer look, though, Ilett said it appeared the eagle was in trouble.

“To see that eagle being drowned right in front of us – we felt like we had to step in and do something,” he said.

In the video, the men are seen using a long rod to untangle the eagle, moments before it flies to safety.

“When you’re in the moment, it was heart-wrenching," Ilett added. "I couldn’t let an animal die in front of me."

Laura Parfrey, an assistant professor in the University of British Columbia’s departments of Botany and Zoology, calls the incident quite rare, as eagles don’t spend much time at the water surface in shallow water where such a capture could occur.

“Neither species is considered at risk, so farmers needn’t feel obliged to intervene. But, the octopus will find another meal,” Parfrey said, after consulting with her colleague Chris Harley.