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Today:  Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Interesting

Amazing moment manta ray known as Freckles approaches snorkellers for help removing a fish hook from her eye

14:35, Sunday, 14 July, 2019
Amazing moment manta ray known as Freckles approaches snorkellers for help removing a fish hook from her eye

The three metre wide fish approached the group while they were exploring the marine life at Ningaloo Reef in Australia.

The ray, who's known to locals as Freckles, had a fish hook embedded in her eye.

If not removed, it could have become infected which could have led to blindness or even killed her.
     Jake Wilton, an underwater photographer from Ningaloo Marine Interactions, was one of the group in the water.

He said: "I’m often guiding snorkellers in the area and it’s as if she recognised me and was trusting me to help her.

"She got closer and closer and then started unfurling to present the eye to me. I knew we had to get the hooks out of her eye or she would have been in big trouble."

According to British TV broadcaster and marine biologist Monty Hall, who was on board their boat at the time, the fish stayed put while Jake dove down repeatedly to try and remove the hook.

As he didn't have diving gear, it made the task incredibly difficult.

Fortunately, after multiple attempts, Jake was finally able to get the hook out.

He said: “I went down for one last try and the manta stayed completely still in the water.”

Monty added: “That manta absolutely understood what was going on. Jake went down again and again and she just remained still for him.

"I came to Ningaloo Reef as it’s one of the best places in the world to swim with whale sharks – so to experience this as well is just phenomenal."

Freckles even stayed around to thank Jake after the hook was finally removed according to the group.

Manta rays can live up to 50 years and grow up to seven metres wide.

And Coral Bay in Ningaloo Reef is one of the best places in the world to spot them.

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