A manta ray is swimming a little easier thanks to a group of scuba divers.
On September 14, an oceanic manta — the largest species of ray in the world — in need interrupted a dip divemaster Rugene Marinus “Spider” and diver assist Phyllis Mihalas were taking at Plaza Beach & Dive Resort and Toucan Diving of Bonaire.
Marinus and Mihalas quickly noticed the impressive creature soaring by their dive and spotted a tangle of fishing line caught on the animal. The scuba divers immediately decided to stop their leisurely scuba adventure and assist the ray.
The experienced divers carefully approached the ailing ray and worked gently and thoroughly to remove all of the fishing line caught on the creature. After several minutes of work, Marinus and Mihalas removed all of the lines, allowing the ray to swim on unharmed and unburdened.
After the successful impromptu rescue, the divers registered the oceanic manta in a database for the vulnerable species, naming the female animal Spi-Phyll.
Oceanic rays are just one of many creatures that spend time in the waters around Bonaire, an island municipality of the Netherlands that lies in the southern Caribbean. The waters surrounding Bonaire are considered part of a protected marine park. The Dutch Caribbean island is also famous for having more flamingo residents than humans.