A couple’s scuba diving trip from Connecticut to Rhode Island on Monday turned into a mission to rescue a baby shark.
Deb and Steve Dauphinais of Glastonbury, Connecticut, were diving on the sand flats off Jamestown, Rhode Island, when Deb Dauphinais spotted a 16-inch juvenile shark with its head stuck in a work glove at the bottom about 35 feet away of water.
Deb Dauphinais, a diving instructor, said she thought the shark was dead, but when it shook, she signaled her husband to come help.
“He came over and did his own little double-take,” she said.
She said her husband pulled on the glove, which appeared to have been sucked up to the shark’s head, but it eventually came free.
Deb Dauphinais said they weren’t afraid of being attacked by what appeared to be a young dogfish shark, but were cautious, in case it crashed on them.
“He kind of looked at us both, didn’t look hurt at all, regained his balance, and then swam back to where he’s supposed to be,” she said. declared.
Deb Dauphinais, who has been an instructor for about 30 years, said this isn’t the first time she has rescued a marine animal in distress. A few years ago, she released a black bass hooked on an abandoned fishing line, she said.
“There are countless stories of underwater creatures being killed by marine debris,” she said. “It’s an ongoing problem that’s close to my heart. But those are the only times I’ve been able to save something, at least a shark, like that.”
According to the Marine Mammal Center, increasing amounts of trash, including plastics and fishing gear, are ending up in the ocean, “creating a threat of entanglement or ingestion for countless marine animals.”
Nearly 1,800 endangered marine animals have consumed or become entangled in plastic since 2009, a study finds..
The Dutch non-profit associationhas the mission of collecting 90% of floating plastic pollution, including a collection of plastic debris and trash twice the size of Texas.