Moray eel (not the same one!)

Rescuing a moray eel

I was on a dive in Durban on a wreck called Coopers Light Wreck, an unknown wreck named after the Cooper lighthouse. Wrecks around Durban are popular fishing sites so there is always a fair amount of fishing line and tackle on the wrecks.

We discovered a moray eel tangled in fishing line. This eel had wriggled so much in an effort to free herself that she was almost dead from exhaustion plus a section of her midriff was white where the line had peeled her skin off. I had a knife so two other divers held her whilst I cut through the line.

This eel was so injured but still kept trying to bite the line off. Having succeeded with most of it she was still tied in a loop of stainless steel wire trace. Fortunately most dive knives have a serrated edge so I was able to saw through this but as the other divers let her go she bit onto my hand and just gently seemed to be holding on whilst I cut the last strands. Once free she swam down to a hole I presumed to be home, stopped and took a look back at me, making me feel honored at being able to save her life.

Moray eel (not the same one!)
Moray eel (not the same one!)

From time to time we see sharks, large fish and other creatures with hooks in their mouths – having bitten onto a “tasty meal” the hook is embedded deeply in their flesh. They fight and sometimes get loose, but the hook stays. If its a steel hook it rusts away quickly, but lately stainless steel is widely used and these hooks stay forever.

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Scuba diver, teacher, gadget man, racing driver, boat skipper, photographer, and collector of stray animals

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