'I couldn't believe my eyes' says stunned conservationist who snapped 2,000-strong shoal of rays

This is the once-in-a-lifetime moment a swimmer caught on camera a 2,000-strong shoal of rare migrating rays.

While the eagle rays are not endangered, it is rare to capture such a large group moving together.

Quick-thinking Ray, from London, clicked on his Go Pro camera and captured staggering photos and footage.

Jay, who works with conservation project Whale Shark Diaries, said it was his "number one best wildlife encounter".

Conservationist Jay Gittens, 44, initially thought the enormous 'shadow' below the surface was a whale shark or humpback whale.

Amazed Jay slipped into the water off La Paz, Mexico, and freedived with the enormous group of Pacific cownose rays.

I couldn't believe my eyes.

Rays are often seen in groups but to see a school this large is a first to me in four years of regularly scanning this water body.

I called to our two guests to don their snorkel gear because we are going to swim the rays.

I gently slipped into the water so as not to startle them. Often rays like these will quickly swim away when approached but they didn't.

They almost resembled a flock of birds flying through the sky.

– JAY GITTENS, CONSERVATIONIST

It was truly an amazing experience even for a marine biologist who has spent a lot of time in the ocean. And as for the guests, they were gobsmacked.

In the video I took the risk of freediving down several times to be on their level.

I was amazed that they didn't mind this. They didn't consider us a threat which allowed us to enjoy them for a few great moments

If i were to write a list of the best wildlife encounters I have had, this would be probably be placed at number one.

– JAY GITTENS, CONSERVATIONIST

Read more news of London on our site.

itv.com
shoalofrays London
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in october
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Crime
A senior US military commander has called on the UK to take back Islamic State fighters who have been "caught on the battlefield" in Syria. Maj Gen Patrick Roberson, commander of US special ops, also called on the government to repatriate two Londoners who have been called the "IS Beatles". The UK says El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey have been stripped of their British citizenship. The government is negotiating for them to face trial in the US. Speak...
Society
A woman has died in a suspected gas explosion in north-west London. Her body was found in a first-floor flat destroyed in the blast in Fulbeck Way, Harrow, just before 01:00 BST Sunday. Another woman, a man and a baby were rescued from a second-floor flat, with the woman and child taken to hospital. About 70 firefighters tackled the flames and 40 neighbours were evacuated from their homes. The Met is investigating. The victim, believed to be in her 80s, ha...
Society
About 13 million adults in the UK live in areas where at least half of the local banks and building societies have closed, analysis by the BBC reveals. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show nearly 6,000 local branches have shut since 2010, a fall of a third. The consumer group Which? called the number of closures "alarming". Trade association UK Finance said closing a branch was a last resort when usage falls. Banks and building societ...
Society
A ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars should be brought forward by eight years to 2032, MPs have said. The government's current plans to ensure all new cars are "effectively zero emission" by 2040 were "vague and unambitious", a report by Parliament's business select committee said. It also criticised cuts to subsidies and the lack of charging points. The government said it aimed to make the UK "the best place in the world" to own an electric vehicl...
Society
London area home sales fell 15.9 per cent in September from August because of a shortage of homes to sell, and that shortage of inventory helped push up prices by 20 per cent from a year ago, the head of the London St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) said. In September, LSTAR reported 776 homes changed hands in London and St. Thomas, compared to a near-record August, when 923 homes were sold. By the numbers Homes sold in September: 776 (a drop of 6....
Society
Radical preacher Anjem Choudary, jailed for inviting support for the Islamic State group, has been released. The cleric was sentenced in 2016 to five-and-a-half years in prison. He led an extremist network linked to violent jihadists, including one of the killers of soldier Lee Rigby in 2013. Choudary, 51, has now served half of his sentence and will complete the rest under strict supervision. Police are preparing up to 25 measures to control him, the BBC...
Society
One of London's front-running mayoral candidates has already put 40 per cent more of his own money into his campaign than the $25,000 limit allowed by law, a move that could put him in jeopardy if he wins the top job, provincial and civic election officials say. One of London’s front-running mayoral candidates has already put 40 per cent more of his own money into his campaign than the $25,000 limit allowed by law, a move that could put him in jeopardy if...
Society
Nearly 150 County of Lambton paramedics are no longer responding to non-emergency calls amid ongoing negotiations for a new contract. Job action as of last Saturday means Lambton County paramedics won’t be doing non-urgent transfers between hospitals for the next while, or keeping ambulance stations as neat and tidy, a union spokesperson says. Nearly 150 Lambton Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedics represented by SEIU Healthcare Local 1 stopped resp...
Society
Clapham Junction has been named London’s worst mainline train station for disruption in a survey by leading consumer title Which? Fifty-seven per cent of trains have been late or cancelled at the south London interchange since the beginning of the year, their research found. Their study found King’s Cross was the second worst, with 51 per cent of trains delayed or cancelled, followed by Victoria (47 per cent), Stratford (44 per cent) and London Bridge (44...