You’d probably be scared to death if you ever saw a whale shark while swimming. However, those who are familiar with the whale shark know there is nothing to fear.
Though whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea and can grow to be 40 feet or longer, they are a docile fish that mostly eat plankton.
Whale fish are actually pretty friendly and even let humans sometimes hitch a ride when they swim close by. A group of divers became a little curious when they saw the massive fish rub by their hand as they were diving aboard the Solmar V at Roca Partida, which is near Socorro Island about 250 miles south of Baja, Mexico.
After taking a closer look, they realized that the whale shark was in distress.
“During the first dive of the morning, we came upon a mature whale shark in some amount of distress due to a large rope cinched around its girth,” Noel Hall wrote with his YouTube video caption. “It must have been there for some time, as the rope was encrusted with barnacles, and was cutting deeply into the flesh of the shark.”
Later that morning, the dive team returned with a mission to help the whale shark and free it from the rope.
“On the second dive of the morning, we located the same whale shark once again, and with Eddy (dive guest) on the scene with his Go Pro camera, we were able to memorialize the rescue,” Hall wrote. “In the video you will see Dave (dive guide) approach the shark from the front, and Dani (dive guide) swim to the shark from above.”
One of the divers whips out a knife and quickly goes to work on cutting the rope so that the whale shark can be free of it.
“You will see Dani successfully cut the rope loose, freeing the shark which slowly swims away,” Hall writes. “At the end, you will see Eddy’s wife, Gina, knuckle-bump Dani, as we all celebrate together.”
They swam the massive rope back to their boat and found out that it was 2 inches in diameter and assumed that it may have belonged to an anchor or a mooring line.
“How it got wrapped around the shark is a mystery,” Hall explains.
Unfortunately, the rope did leave the whale shark with a scar.
Either way, it’s nice that the dive team was there to rescue the whale shark from an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation.
You can check out the rescue in the video below.
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