“We went for a few dives down to see how she would react to us being close to her,” said Wilton, who found that he was able to freedive repeatedly while the manta remained still to allow his attempts to remove the hooks.
“I think the manta knew that Jake was trying to get the hooks out,” said Halls. “She understands what’s actually happened. Again and again, attempt after attempt, that’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen under water.”
Wilton said that after removing the hooks he “went down again one last time just to say goodbye and she actually stopped and just waited there”.
“For all the negativity around our interactions with the marine environment, it was nice to see a group of people – and a tourist operator – get it exactly right,” said Halls.
See the video here.