Gigantic: The photo Pete Comerford took of the gentle giant from his boat yesterday.
Gigantic: The photo Pete Comerford took of the gentle giant from his boat yesterday.

Whale shark's rare coast visit

A TWEED Heads dive charter operator was awe-struck by a visitor from the deep yesterday morning when it gave his boat a friendly nudge east of Cook Island.

An almost eight-metre, two-tonne whale shark shocked those on board by siding up to Pete Comerford’s vessel Blue Juice, then cruising over shocked divers’ heads about 9am at Nine Mile Reef.

Mr Comerford said he had never seen a whale shark – which are not dangerous – entering the area in more than six years he had owned Tweed Sea Sports.

“It pulled up right next to the boat,” he said. “I’ve just gone ‘Oh my God!’ and then it swung out over the divers.

“My boat is seven-and-a-half metres and it was definitely the length of the boat, if not more.”

National Geographic’s website says whale sharks are the ocean’s largest fish, but are docile and allow swimmers to hitch rides on their dorsal fin.

Whale sharks are listed as a vulnerable species yet continue to be hunted in parts of Asia.



Councillors organise special lunch to farewell staff

premium_icon Councillors organise special lunch to farewell staff

Monday's meeting is likely to be the last time they meet

Hungry roos are on the hop

premium_icon Hungry roos are on the hop

Jump in visitors at One Mile

Brotherly 'love tap' clash ends in court

premium_icon Brotherly 'love tap' clash ends in court

He reached over his mother and punched his brother in the face

Local Partners