Incredible footage has emerged of a fisherman’s efforts to save the life of a young thornback ray after it became trapped in shallow waters.
John Wilkins came to the ailing creature’s rescue after it followed his fishing boat back to shore at Cygnet Bay in Tasmania’s Huon Valley earlier this month.
The creature became stuck in several inches of water and appears to be lifeless and weak as its body touches the hard stones on the sea bed.
The thornback ray was trapped in shallow waters in Cygnet Bay
‘It appeared to follow the boat in to shore,’ Mr Wilkins said.
‘We tossed some of the left over pieces of the fish it had been eating around to see if it had come in to shore to follow its meal, but it wasn’t interested.’
Mr Wilkins is seen in the footage petting the ray as a gesture of encouragement and trying to move it before lifting its nose to give it some food.
‘Give me that fish there,’ he instructs tells his mate in the video.
‘He wants to go back but he’s kind of beached himself.’
Fisherman John Wilkins saved the ailing creature’s life after it followed his boat to shore
The thornback ray makes several unsuccessful attempts to swim away before Mr Wilkins picks up the ray to help it on its way.
The thornback ray eventually finds new energy and swims away into deeper waters.
Mr Wilkins said that adult skates were common in shallow parts of the bay during winter.
The thornback ray, also known as thornback skate is a species of ray fish.
Mr Wilkins tempts the beached thornback ray by feeding it pieces of fish
The thornback ray eventually finds new energy and swims away into deeper waters