Scuba diving is certainly a life-changing recreational activity. The skill allows you to experience the marine environment up close. You get to see underwater animals that you don’t interact with every day. It feels like you are swimming in another dimension — exploring what others don’t get to experience most of their life. Scuba diving is also a humbling experience as you realize that the world is truly huge. There is a lot to discover and wonder about. You just swim there and realize that you are a small part of the planet you live on. Moreover, being surrounded by water and marine animals can be therapeutic as well. It’s also known as the blue mind theory — wherein a person’s well-being is improved by being close to water.
Aside from the humbling and therapeutic experience, scuba diving will open your eyes to the sad reality of the Earth’s waters. Beauty still exists, but you’ll also encounter sources of pollution. You’ll not only swim with fish and turtles but also with water bottles and other packaging. Scuba diving might even show you the effects of the most harmful water debris, which is ghost gear. Abandoned fishing equipment has caused distress to marine animals. Small fish to whales are often found trapped in fishing nets or pierced with hooks. Environmentalists are finding ways to help the victims — rescuing animals and gathering support for advocacy. Oftentimes, even professional scuba divers offer help, which has happened to Iñaki.
The professional scuba diver moved to Australia from Spain and currently manages Diving Byron Bay. It’s a small business that offers diving lessons and a tour of the mesmerizing waters of Julian Rocks. During Iñaki’s session with four divers, several sharks made an appearance. One of them caught his attention because of the net attached to its mouth. Others would be terrified of the shark’s presence, but Iñaki bravely approached the underwater creature to check his condition. “I realized that shark was in real trouble. That shark was gonna die. I didn’t look at the shark as a dangerous creature. I thought he was a marine animal who needs my help,” the diving instructor said.
With an admirable mindset, Iñaki made time for the shark and helped him remove the fishing net. He started by grabbing the rope coming from the net. Before he made his next move, Iñaki assessed the shark’s reaction, and thankfully it did not act aggressively. “As I started pulling out the fishing net, he was actually helping me as well, just shaking himself to get the net out,” he shared. The shark was completely cooperative, as if it knew that Iñaki was the solution. It didn’t go well at first, but the diving instructor tried his best. He even looked out for his students and then continued the mission after knowing they were safe.
During the second attempt, Iñaki was so close to the shark that he could feel its vibrations. It was shaking from side to side — desperate to be freed from the fishing net. Both of them made efforts to efficiently remove the distressing gear. Without verbal communication and with just instincts, Iñaki and the shark successfully detached the net from its mouth. The marine animal swam away due to excitement — freedom was achieved, and it can swim without worries. While the team was celebrating and absorbing the encounter, the shark suddenly returned. It came back to express gratitude — to acknowledge the kindness shown by a human. The shark was even joined by a friend who seems to be thanking Iñaki as well. Their interaction will certainly touch your heart, and you can witness that in the video below.