Whale sharks are not only the largest sharks that swim the ocean, they are also the biggest fish out there – at least as far as scientists know. And while they are huge and terrifying, they are not an animal that you have to be afraid of. They are gentle giants that don’t eat people or large mammals. Instead they feed on tiny sea critters like plankton. Nevertheless, these giant sharks can grow to be more than 40 feet long and are definitely a force to be reckoned with. But as you’ll see in this video, despite being a fish, they are very intelligent animals. Sometimes they let humans hitch rides on their backs and get very close to them while swimming. But as the video below shows you, this whale shark was getting very close to a diver for a very different reason. And once the diver realized why the whale shark wouldn’t go away, he had to hurry because time was running out…
The video shows you a group of scuba divers who happened to come across a whale shark while diving off the Solmar V at Roca Partida. This area is about 250 miles south of Baja, Mexico off of Socorro Island. It’s a popular haunt for the gargantuan whale sharks.
At first they thought the whale shark was just playing around, but then the experienced diver noticed that it was quite stressed out. Something was impeding its movement. The gentle, beautiful whale shark was snared in a rope!
“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.”
Because the dive team knew the whale shark’s location, they returned later in the day with necessary supplies and got to work freeing the giant sea creature.
“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.”
As you watch the video, you’ll see a scuba diver take out an underwater knife and get to work cutting at the rope that trapped the gentle giant. After some effort, the diver cuts through the thick rope and frees the whale shark from the terrible fate!
“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.”
Although the divers did well, the rope scarred the whale shark.
“How it got wrapped around the shark is a mystery,” Hall explains.
Watch the video below!