Cocoa Island is a remote, protected marine sanctuary off the coast of Costa Rica. Its incredible underwater wildlife makes it popular with divers from all over the world. British instructor Paul Slater and American diver Don Shellhammer are out filming one of their dives when something completely unexpected happens.
The two spot a giant Manta Ray swimming near them. As Paul approaches the Manta, he notices that several meters of fishing line is trailing behind it. The fishing wire is wrapped around its body and digging into its flesh. The two men know they need to do something to help.
As they swam up to the Manta, they can tell it is asking for help. They have no idea how long the poor thing has been in this terrible condition. Paul and his dive master approach the Ray from behind and begin to cut through one of the ropes.
Rays are known to be shy; the proximity of the divers scares the Manta, and it starts to swim away. Still desperate for help, it relents and allows the men to approach it again. This time the men are able to cut all the ropes, freeing the Manta from its terrible situation.
After the last rope is cut, the Manta starts to swim off but soon returns to say 'thank you' to the cameras. The incredible thing is that, in a blatant display of gratitude, the Manta Ray remains with the divers and swims along with them for the next 25 minutes.
It is such an amazing rescue to watch, and we want to thank the two divers who put their plans on hold to save the life of this magnificent creature. Watch the video of the rescue, below.
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