A group of divers happened upon a disturbing sight in the Cayman Islands — hundreds of decomposing sharks and other sea creatures tangled up in a floating "ghost net."
Dominick Martin-Mayes, a 27-year-old fisherman and diving instructor, told the Independent that he was with a group of friends when they found the "solid net of dead, decomposing fish and sharks.”
"At first we thought it was a log, but as we got closer we could see it was a net with floats," he told the outlet. "I jumped in the water first and was shocked at what I saw. It took my breath away — the first thing I saw was the juvenile oceanic whitetip [shark]."
"I got my buddy who was with me to grab a knife and jump in," he continued. "We did what we could to free some of the trapped life but most of it was already dead."
Despite the team's best efforts, Martin-Mayes said he and his friends had to stop the impromptu rescue for fear of becoming trapped in the net themselves.
"The net's sole purpose in life is to kill," he told the Independent. "You get your hand wrapped in it and you drown."
Thankfully, the Cayman Compass reported that fisherman Charles Ebanks later rediscovered the discarded net and towed it into Harbour house marina, where it was successfully lifted out of the ocean.
The net was reportedly taken to a landfill to await action by an international nonprofit group, which offered to safely dispose of it.