Incredible moment a whale shark swims with surfers off the coast of Noosa moments before it gets stuck on the rocks and requires urgent help
- A whale shark ventured into shallow waters and became stuck on Wednesday
- The curious shark was filmed swimming with beachgoers prior to its rescue
- It was also seen swimming towards rocks, where it eventually became stuck
- Beachgoers managed to free the shark and it swam away to deeper waters
A whale shark was seen peacefully swimming with beachgoers just moments before it became stuck in shallow water and needed rescuing.
The shark was caught next to rocks just metres from the shore on a beach at Noosa National Park on Queensland‘s Sunshine Coast on Wednesday.
New drone footage shows the curious shark, which is harmless to humans, swimming right below surfers, paddleboarders and snorkellers just minutes before it eventually needed saving.
A whale shark (pictured) was filmed swimming with paddleboarders and snorkellers (also pictured) before it became stuck in shallow water at a beach at Noosa National Park on Wednesday
At one point, a paddleboarder and two snorkellers were seen marveling at the shark, which was circling under them.
Later, a lone swimmer was seen lying on his back looking at the whale shark gliding right below him.
Drone footage also showed the foreboding moment the shark ventured into shallow waters next to rocks, where it would eventually become stuck.
Carley Jane Pan was at the beach when she spotted the whale shark thrashing around in shallow water trying to free itself.
She and other locals dived into the water to help marine marvel in distress.
Later, a lone swimmer was seen lying on his back looking at the whale shark gliding right below him
The whale shark caused quite a stir on the beach, with many swimmers and boarders rushing to get a glimpse of the specimen, which is the world’s biggest fish
Ms Pan told Daily Mail Australia she was quite shocked because she had never seen a whale shark in two decades of surfing at Noosa.
She said a few locals including her husband and friend Tony Rapacioli rushed into the water to help the animal.
‘The shark flipped over so I ran in to help too, we pulled it from the tail and managed to get it off the rocks when a wave came. It kept trying to circle back but some guys managed to steer it away back into the cove,’ Ms Pan said.
Whale sharks are the largest known fish species – as whales are classified as mammals – with the largest confirmed individual reaching a huge 18.8 metres in length.
The whale shark (pictured) had become stuck in shallow water at Noosa National Park in Queensland (pictured)
A group of locals rushed to help the whale shark that had become stuck in shallow water (pictured)
They are listed as endangered species and feed on plankton and small fish – posing no threat to humans.
While the animals are found in most tropical waters around the world from as far north as Canada and south to Victoria, they generally stay in deeper water rarely venture close to shore.
People commenting on the shark at Noosa said they were amazed to see one near the beach.
‘Imagine seeing the fins out there,’ one person said.
‘A whale shark, how incredible,’ another said.
‘Don’t even need to go to WA,’ a third added.
Beachgoers spotted the huge whale shark in Noosa on Wednesday (pictured)
A famous tourist activity is to swim with the whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia.
The reef is one of the largest in Australia and is located about halfway up the Indian Ocean coast – at about the same longitude as Noosa and the Sunshine Coast on the east.
Ms Pan said a team from nearby Australia Zoo arrived and along with help from other locals managed to safely tow the animal back out into deep water.
‘So happy to hear that,’ a relieved Ms Pan said.
Whale sharks are found in most tropical waters and are classified as an endangered species (file image)