VIDEO | Two young boys have Whale Shark of a time


Karlie Brady


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The five-metre Whale Shark came right up to the family's boat. Image: Supplied.

Saturday will be a day to remember for local boys Parker (10) and Quaid Sims (8) after a chance encounter with a rare creature of the deep.

For many a Whale Shark on the Great Barrier Reef is something they will only see in photos, but not for these two young boys and their Mum and Dad.

On Saturday 4 April, 35 nautical miles off the Cape Tribulation coast, the Sims family stopped north of St Crispin’s Reef when a five-metre juvenile Whale Shark decided it wanted to make friends with the Port Douglas family.

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Originally spotted by Quaid, the youngest brother, the family were soon spoiled by the amazing scenes in the video below:

Father, Brad Sims, said his boys were originally a little alarmed mistaking it for a regular shark as it approached with its dorsal and tail fin out of the water.

“The family vessel is six metres and this guy was five metres,” said Brad, who with his wife Leanne own and operate BH Electrics here in the Douglas Shire.

“It stayed with us for about five minutes swimming around and splashing our boat.

“The kids were beside themselves, just an awesome experience, one we all won’t forget. How amazing is this place,” said Brad.

The young boys are now the region’s newest marine biology enthusiasts and told Newsport that most adult Whale Sharks grow to around 12 metres in length with the largest Whale Shark seen believed to be a whopping 18 metres.

Dr Adam Barnett, a scientist from James Cook University, has been researching Whale Sharks and was the first to track the gentle giants on the Great Barrier Reef.

Whale Sharks are filter-feeders and are attracted to nutrient upwellings in the ocean. Locating these epicentres of nutrients can help scientists better understand the Great Barrier Reef and the billions of marine creatures it supports.

Dr Barnett used money raised from the Great Barrier Reef Marathon’s Run for the Reef program to locate and track the Whale Sharks on the Reef. Dr Barnett’s research and tracking data is now able to be followed by logging onto the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef’s Reef Tracks website.

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