Joshua Eccles is being praised on Facebook after helping a lemon shark that persistently swam toward him in what appeared to be an attempt to ask for help.
Eccles was diving with Emerald Charters off Jupiter, Florida, on Wednesday when the encounter with the lemon shark occurred.
He told WPTV of West Palm Beach that the shark was nudging and bumping him, as if signaling something was wrong. Eccles felt compelled to check the shark over and spotted something protruding from its belly.
Chris Maddeford of Emerald Charters captured footage of what happened next:
It took two tries, but Eccles finally removed a huge, rusty hook from the lemon shark, earning him accolades from online commenters.
“Awesome!” one wrote. “You’re a hero, dude.”
“I was lucky enough to be on this dive!” Kimberly Smith wrote on the WPTV Facebook page. “Josh is amazing with the sharks, and it’s not the first time he’s removed hooks. But I’m thinking it’s the first time he’s removed a hook that was working its way out of the shark’s belly.”
Eccles is no stranger when it comes to working with sharks. His Facebook bio indicates he once worked as a shark feeder at Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas, so he obviously knows a thing or two about them.
As for the shark’s wound, Eccles said it “should heal up with no problems.”