On July 22nd the marina waterfront near the Marina Crescent in Kuwait City had a rather unusual visitor last week when a six metre whale shark dropped in for a spot of sight-seeing!
Visitors were pleasantly surprised to see the unmistakable spotted form of a whale shark swimming close to the surface of the water in the marina.
The local public were both surprised and concerned as a marina is no place for a whale shark and many reported the sighting to the the Environmental Public Authority (EPA). EPA realising the scale of the problem in turn contacted local experts at The Scientific Center of Kuwait (TSCK) and mobilised assistance through the Voluntary Work Centre (VWC) and the Kuwait Dive Team (KDC).
The group's first attempt to get the shark back to sea was to use a boat to lead it out of the marina but this failed and so the organisers contacted a host of international colleagues for advice.
A second attempt using snorkellers and divers to form a human barricade also failed to guide the shark out to sea, the depth of the marina making it easy for the shark to swim around divers.
Input from a number of international colleagues suggested that using a net was probably the best option and after five days on hard work the combined group was successful in persuading the shark that the open ocean was indeed a better place for it to be!
Congratulations to all the volunteers from EPA, TSCK, VWC and KDT who spent many tense and frustrating hours in returning this particular shark to the ocean and out of harms way!