A group of Florida boaters picking up “trash” in the water discovered a shark hooked to a buoy and convinced fishermen to let them free the predator.
The video, posted to YouTube by the Shark Addicts group, shows the boaters picking up what appears to be floating trash off the Florida coast when they discover the garbage is actually a group of buoys that were connected to a steel cable.
The boaters said they reeled in the steel cable for about 30 minutes until they discovered a sandbar shark at the end of their line.
The video shows the group preparing to cut the shark loose from the line when a fishing boat approaches and claims ownership of the buoys and rig.
The boaters argue with the fisherman for the shark’s freedom and eventually are successful in convincing the fishermen to free the sandbar shark, which they are not allowed to keep without a research permit from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in exchange for the return of their equipment.
The boaters attempt to use a hook remover to free the shark from the line, but the hook proves too large and they are forced to simply cut the line instead.
The shark is able to swim free, albeit with the hook and bait still attached to its mouth.
“We wonder how many sharks were on the rest of the line, if we had a scuba tank with us we would have checked the rest of the line,” the video’s description reads.