People on Tathra wharf were treated to the spectacular sight of a massive whale shark slowly cruising past on Wednesday evening.
Three teenagers who had been fishing off the wharf actually jumped in and swam a short distance with the massive fish, an experience normally reserved for those who travel to tropical locations such as WA’s Ningaloo Reef.
One of the teenagers lucky enough to swim with the whale shark was local Tathra school boy Jared Graham-Higgs, 15, who estimated it to be between 8 and 10-metres long.
Jared said he was fishing when the whale shark cruised within 1 metre of the wharf and he soon identified it as a whale shark.
He and his two mates then jumped in and swam with the shark until it moved out into the bay off Tathra Beach, an experience he described as amazing even without goggles.
The Far South Coast is at the southerly boundary of the whale shark’s migration but they have been encountered as far south as Eden, and the water at Tathra this week is a warm 22 degrees with most likely an abundance of plankton attracting the distance-swimming filter feeder.
Wednesday’s whale shark was last seen by the dozens of people on the wharf swimming toward the beach and north on Tathra Bay.