This is the astonishing moment brave divers rescued a dusky shark struggling to free itself of a rope painfully embedded into its skin.
Diver Skyler Thomas and tour operators Vinnie and Debbie didn’t hesitate to jump in and help when they spotted the stricken creature in pain.
Extraordinary footage shows the trio grabbing hold of the shark and cutting the rope in the deep waters of Cat Island in the central Bahamas.
In this case there were some silky sharks and some dusky sharks and we found that one particular dusky shark had a rope wrapped around it and heavily embedded in its flesh.’
Vinnie and Debbie, owners of Epic Diving Tours, spotted the shark which they noticed kept swimming back to the same spot and eventually they were able to devise a plan to get in the water and remove the rope.
Mr Thomas explained: ‘Vinnie got onboard, got prepared and grabbed a knife and was able to get back into the water and wait long enough for the shark to become used to his presence until he was able to get close enough and actually grab hold of the shark and cut into the rope, which was pretty deep down into the shark and remove it.’
The dusky shark swims in tropical and temperate oceans worldwide, cruising from depths of 1,300 feet near the continental shelf all the way in to the surf zone and other shallow inshore waters.
The California-based diver said: ‘People like to ask whether or not the shark was going to bite us or if we were in danger – this particular species isn’t very aggressive but it was in a state of distress, so you never know what is going to happen.’
Situations like these can often result in life threatening infections – but the shark was successfully freed by tour diver Vinnie and his team.
After removing the rope, the team returned regularly to check in on the progress of the shark whilst it was healing.