Unexpected visitor surprises Big Island divers

News

A group of Big Island divers set out an undersea adventure to film manta rays off Kailua-Kona.

They do this almost every night.

But something amazing happened during a recent dive.

The group from Manta Ray Advocates Hawaii were shocked when a Hawaiian monk seal swam through their dive site, and got close to the manta rays.

This happened on Saturday and Sunday night — and in each time, the monk seal stuck around for only a few minutes.

“I think it must be a scary place to go cause of all the bubbles and lights and people but I think the monk seal just wanted to check out the neighborhood and see what’s going on. Our instructions were from the officials not to interact with the female at all so she doesn’t get used to us. That’s exactly what we the professionals did out there. We were totally passive and didn’t make eye contact,” said Martha Wing.

They believe the monk seal was pregnant.

The team says this has never happened to them before, and they’ve been doing these night dives since the 1990s.

They hope this video will help bring awareness to the critically endangered species.

For more information on Manta Ray Advocates Hawaii, log onto their website or Facebook page.

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