This is the moment divers exploring a shipwreck rescue a baby shark snagged on a fishing hook and foam float.
The incident took place near the sunken tanker Lion City, around 35 nautical miles from the coast, in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A group of eight people had been diving when they spotted the young blacktip reef shark with a hook and fishing float in its mouth.
Group member Kathleen Russell said: “That’s an old traditional way of fishing, because the hook was right on the block.
“We were in deep water, about 29 or 30 metres of water, and you normally don’t see a shark on the surface in the middle of the water.
“It wasn’t able to dive down, and when it did come down a bit, it came back up again. It was dragging the block the whole time.”
Russell said she flipped the young shark, estimated to be around a year old, over to induce tonic immobility before another diver with gloves removed the hook.
She explained: “We wanted to at least cut the foam, but we were able to completely take the hook out, which was great. We were very lucky.”
Russell added: “We didn’t see any blood or anything. In all the years I have done this, I have never jumped in and taken a hook off a shark.
“It would have died if we hadn’t. And I hope it will survive now. It did swim away properly and cautiously, but I think it was probably really exhausted.”
Blacktip reef sharks, considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), are timid and do not pose a risk to people, although they have been known to accidentally bite swimmers in shallow water.
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