Florida man rides whale shark

By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   June 17, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Chris Kreis, 19, was fishing with his family off the coast of Captiva, Fla., when they saw a 30-foot, 50,000-pound whale shark swim past the boat. Since whale sharks are gentle creatures, Kreis decided to go for a swim.

“I decided, you know what, maybe I should go try and swim with him. I might not be able to do it ever again,” Kreis told ABC News on Monday.

The intrepid teen described the ride to NBC 2 in Fort Myers: "When I started holding on I felt the whale shark it started moving itself, it felt the drag and it didn't really want me on there so I let go and that's it."

Though riding whale sharks is legal, Kreis' actions have garnered criticism from environmentalists.

“When people spend a lot of time and a lot of pressure on a fish, it takes away that slime covering and potentially has negative health impacts for the fish,” one marine biologist said.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending News
Florida waterspout rips mail truck open, scatters letters
Dutch teacher's stripping anatomy lesson a hit with students
WestJet passenger finds mystery clothing, beer in her luggage
Texas students to protest campus weapons policy with sex toys
Playmobil stirs controversy with apparent slave figurine