Family Sees Giant Tangled Shark And Drops Everything To Help Her
"I'm thinking there's no way I'm gonna get through that rope."
Joby Rohrer and his family were enjoying a day of diving off the coast of Lanai, Hawaii, when they spotted something that made them change their plans.
There, in the water not far from them, was a massive whale shark. Wrapped around her was a large rope, strangling her body.
What Rohrer didn't know at the time was that, a few weeks earlier, this same animal had been spotted. Wildlife officials were urging the public to alert them if she was sighted again.
Rohrer didn't call for help. He and his family tailed the shark, unsure if they would be able to make a difference.
"I'm thinking there's no way I'm gonna get through that rope — it's so fat," Rohrer told Hawaii News Now. "Then [my wife] Kapua was saying, 'Well, you should try!" But I was thinking if I get close to that animal and touch it, I don't want to startle the animal. I don't want to stress the animal out. I don't want to make it bolt."
But in the end, he decided to make an attempt — and as footage from the last moments of the rescue shows, it worked.
Rohrer's heroic actions had saved the whale shark's life. The 150-pound rope, a piece of improperly discarded fishing equipment, was literally cutting into her.
Sadly, such threats from things humans leave behind are all too common — but thankfully intervention on the part of Rohrer and his family helped set things right for this imperiled animal. He hopes others take note.
"That's a good example of [how] the things that we discard can destroy beautiful animals like that so easily," Rohrer said.
Truly a job well done.