Giant manta ray rescued by divers

British diver cuts away fishing line

Divers Rescue Giant Manta Ray From Fishing Line

A giant manta ray gave a British diver a show of thanks after he untangled it from a commercial fishing line.

Diving instructor Paul Slater, 54, was on a group trip off the coast of Costa Rica when he spotted the 16ft giant caught up in a net.

Slater was filming underwater in May this year near the island of Cocos, an area full of marine life and popular with divers, when he came to the animal's rescue.

In the video, he notices the giant ray, but as he approaches he sees it has several metres of fishing line trailing behind it. The line is tight around its body and biting into its flesh.

Slater and his dive master decide to help and manage to cut through one of the lines. But the shy ray gets spooked and swims away.

Acrobatic show

Although there is a 12-mile exclusion zone around the island where fishing is prohibited, illegal vessels still regularly fish the waters. Scores of marine life get caught up in fishing nets. This ray, however, got lucky.

Eventually they cut all the lines away, and seemingly happy to be free at last the ray gives the divers an acrobatic show - all caught on camera.

Manta rays are large eagle rays belonging to the genus Manta. They can reach up to an enormous 23ft in width.

Mantas are found in temperate, subtropical and tropical waters and are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.