Scuba divers on Cayman Brac got the thrill of a lifetime this weekend when the biggest fish in the ocean showed up to play.

The whale shark, estimated at between 18 and 20 feet long, was first spotted on the south side of the island between the Angel Reef and Butterfly Reef dive sites. Brac Scuba Shack and Reef Divers both had boats on the site and it swam between the two.

Dive instructor Brett Johnson said he heard about the sighting and raced out with two of his co-workers in a 13-foot Boston Whaler. They found the fish in clear, shallow water, feeding near the surface, off Cayman Brac Beach Resort.

“We swam with it for about 30 minutes, it was great,” said Mr. Johnson, “It is my first time seeing a whale shark in Cayman.”

Despite their imposing size, growing up to 40 feet, whale sharks are gentle giants. They are slow moving filter feeders that feed on plankton and small fish and are no danger to humans. For many divers, swimming with whale sharks is considered a “bucket list” experience.

Divers estimated the whale shark was between 18 and 20 feet long. – Photos: Brett Johnson

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