Video has appeared online of an attempt by a diving instructor in the Gulf of Thailand to free a whale shark from a long trailing rope knotted around its tail.
A dive group came across the slow-moving whale shark near the Sail Rock site off Koh Tao on 13 June.
One of the divers, Sarakorn Pokaprakan, recorded an instructor’s repeated attempts to cut the nylon line with a small knife, but he was unable to sever it and eventually had to give up the attempt as the whale shark swam clear.
It was not clear how the rope had caught around the whale shark’s tail, but because it was cutting into the flesh it was feared that it could eventually cause a lethal infection. Some reports that it was the diver’s knife that caused the injury appear to be based on a misinterpretation of the Reuters report on the incident.
As the video was widely circulated this week (from 16 June), Koh Tao marine authorities were reported to be looking out for the whale shark in hopes of being able to free it.
Watch the video here