GLASTONBURY, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut couple’s scuba diving trip in 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 the 16-inch (41-centimeter) juvenile shark with its head stuck inside a work glove at the bottom of about 35 feet (10 meters) of water.
Deb Dauphinais, a dive instructor, said she thought the shark was dead, but when it twitched she motioned for her husband to come over and help.
“He came over and did his own little double-take,” she said.
She said her husband tugged on the glove, which seemed to be suctioned to the shark’s head, but it eventually popped free.
Deb Dauphinais said they were not afraid of being attacked by what appeared to be a juvenile Dogfish shark, but were cautious, in case it snapped at them.
“It kind of looked at both of us, didn’t look at all injured, got its equilibrium back and then swam off back to where it is supposed to be,” she said.
Deb Dauphinais, who has been an instructor for about 30 years, said this is not the first time she has rescued a marine animal in distress. A few years ago, she freed a black sea bass that had been hooked on a discarded fishing line, she said.
“There are countless stories of underwater sea creatures being killed by underwater sea trash,” she said. “It’s an ongoing issue that’s near and dear to my heart. But these are the only times I’ve been able to save something, at least a shark, like that.”