He Heard A Thud
Elijah listened to the sounds of water splashing followed by a loud thump just as he was about to conclude his great day. He clung to the railing for support as the entire boat swayed.
To his astonishment, he swung around to see what was happening and saw that something had jumped aboard the boat. On his boat, he believed he was protected from the water’s predators, but he was mistaken.
In Alabama’s Dauphin Island, Elijah Sims resided. He regarded himself as being a family man. After meeting at a party 15 years ago, he eventually got married to his wife, Ava. Since then, a lot of time has gone.
Together, they had experienced a lot. Every career advancement, every sickness, but most significantly, Tommy, their son, was born.
The day Elijah welcomed his kid into the world was the best day of his life. After Elijah’s father, Theodore, he and Ava gave him that name. They called him Tommy with fondness while they watched him grow as a child.
Living on Dauphin Island meant that one custom began at a young age, and Elijah enjoyed it. Tommy was now 13 years old and his dad had big plans for him.
A family custom
Alabama’s Dauphin Island is a community on an island. This indicated that a large number of fisherman resided in the community. Even though Elijah wasn’t a fisherman himself, the local way of life had an impact on him.
Elijah even purchased the family a boat using a birthday bonus he received from the computer firm he worked for because he loved fishing that much. Even better, he bought them each a fishing rod. But he was unaware of the danger that would result from this.
The Fishing Rodeo on Dauphin Island
It was understandable why fishing was so well-liked on the island. The largest fishing competition in the world, the Dauphin Island Fishing Rodeo, was held there. Numerous professional fisherman and fans go to this tournament.
Elijah and his family were sucked into this society. They only avoided crows because they disliked them, therefore they went fishing more often when it was calm. But they were unsure of what they might discover.
A Quiet Way of Life
The residents of the town got along well. Most individuals were familiar with one another and frequently engaged in commerce. Not that Elijah was impolite. Simply put, he was more reclusive than the rest of him.
He was aware that Ava could chitchat for hours with other mothers when they were shopping, but he preferred to remain to himself. But then no one would be aware of their next fishing expedition. one that would come to a dangerous conclusion.
The Alabama Deep Sea’s Waters
The biodiversity in the seas around the Alabama Deep Sea is substantial. Since 1929, the tournament has been held there, and this is one of the main causes.
However, it also indicates that there are numerous predators in the water and even nearby. When residents of Dauphin Island imagine the worst possible scenario, one apex predator comes to mind. One about which Elijah was clueless.
All sharks have the potential to be harmful but o ne stands out as being among the world’s most hostile. In t iger shark attacks, 39 of the 111 documented assaults were deadly.
The great white shark is the only shark with a history of killing humans. But in the Alabama Deep Sea, tiger sharks are rather prevalent.
Elijah made the decision to take his family fishing one early morning. They hadn’t gone in a month, and Tommy had been bothering him all week. Elijah thus believed that a Saturday morning would be ideal.
They packed their essentials for the journey, including food, lure, and their dependable fishing gear. They set out after Elijah hooked the boat to the rear of their trailer. accidentally into danger
A Good Morning
They were eager for the day ahead as they arrived at the dock, unhitched the boat, and pushed off into the lake. The morning was nice, and they were eager to see what they may capture.
But after an hour on the lake, something happened that utterly astounded Elijah. He would remember this day for years to come.
Something On The Boat
Just as Elijah thought that the day was wrapping up to be a perfect trip, he heard the sounds of water splashing and then a loud thud. The entire boat rocked, and he grabbed onto the railing for balance.
He slowly turned around to see what was going on, and to his horror, something had lept onto the boat. He thought he was safe from the predators of the water while on his boat, but he was wrong.
A Strange Creature
Elijah felt a chill down his spine. His first instinct was to protect his family. He told his wife and child to stand behind him while he assessed the situation. There was definitely an animal on the boat. (https://symboliamag.com)
Horrible thoughts ran through his head. What could it have been? Could it have been a shark? Then his obligation as the head of the family reminded him to step even closer.
Dark, Glossy Skin
After carefully examining the creature, Elijah saw white spots on dark, glossy skin. But that wasn’t everything. He saw that there were babies too. The animal that had landed on his boat had brought its offspring onboard.
He was still examining it when his wife, Ava, shouted out from behind him, “I know exactly what that is!”
An Eagle Ray
The animal turned out to be a Spotted Eagle Ray. They were common in the water, and one of Ava’s friends had spoken about them in passing while they were at the grocery store. It had jumped out of the water onto the boat for some reason.
With the knowledge that he wasn’t in immediate danger, he could assess the situation and try to help the poor stranded animal.
Quickly Thinking Of A Plan
Elijah knew that he had to quickly devise a plan if he wanted to save the life of the rays and keep his own family safe. Everyone looked to him to save the day. But what would he do?
He couldn’t throw them back into the ocean in good conscience. What if they needed medical attention? He needed to get them to a vet as soon as he could.
Racing To The Shore
After a second of thought, he decided to trust his gut. He needed to race to the shore before it was too late. But his plan felt a little half-baked. What would he do once he got to the shore?
He put the boat into high gear and sped towards the shore while he continued to hatch his plan in the meantime.
The idea came to him while he was racing towards the dock. He could try to arrange for the local marine conservation group to meet them there when they arrived. All he had to do was make the phone call.
The entire time he sped towards the shore, he just hoped that the rays were okay. They couldn’t last long out of the water.
A Phone Call
Elijah desperately told his wife, Ava, to call the Marine Resources Division. They would know exactly what to do. She shakily found the number for the organization and then dialed it.
A consultant picked up, and she desperately explained the situation to them. But would they make it in time to save the animals?
Arranging To Meet At The Docks
They arranged to meet at the docks and hung up the phone. The animals wouldn’t last long on the boat. They were close now, but would the organization be ready once they arrived?
Ava felt beyond nervous when she saw a relieving sight. She saw a van waiting for them on the shore. She just hoped that it would be enough.
Handing Them Over
Elijah parked the boat at the dock, and the organization’s people rushed over to take things from there. They had a stretcher for the eagle ray and her babies and took her to their van, where they could put her in a tank.
They took over and gave Elijah a number he could call before speeding off. He felt responsible for the animals and worried about them.
Even though they were now out of his hands, Elijah felt partly responsible for their wellbeing. Even that night, it hung on his mind. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he needed to help out more.
He flipped the card through his fingers while he lay in bed. He knew in the morning. He still had work to do regarding the previous day’s events.
Elijah woke up in the morning and knew what he would do that day. He called the number on the card and found out where the foundation had taken the eagle ray. After begging for what felt like ages, he finally got an address.
He got in his car and drove to where he knew he could get reassurance. He had to see things to the end.
A Private Clinic
Elijah had to drive to a private clinic where the eagle ray was being treated at. It was five miles out of the city and was a state-of-the-art facility. The animal was getting the best treatment possible.
Still, though, he wanted to see for himself. It had become a borderline obsession. He arrived at the compound, not knowing what to expect.
The next biggest hurdle was the security booth. Elijah rolled up and greeted a worn-looking man. It was clear that he had been on shift for at least a dozen hours. Elijah knew this wouldn’t be easy.
When the man asked for ID, he frowned and started explaining the situation. He just hoped it would be enough.
Letting Him Through
After a back-and-forth with Elijah appealing to the older security guard’s sensibilities, he agreed to let him pass on the condition that he was on his best behavior. He thanked him and passed through the booms.
He was one step closer to his goal. He just had to park his car and find the reception. His nerves made his hands shake the entire time.
Getting To the Reception
Elijah ran through the sterile halls. He’d never been in such an expansive clinic just for animals. Especially one for aquatic ones. He found a reception desk and knew once again he’d have to convince someone to let him pass.
But he was pleasantly surprised when the woman told him she had been expecting him. The partners who had picked up the eagle ray knew he would come looking for her.
Finally Seeing Her For Himself
Elijah was directed to one of the rooms at the end of the hallway. He was told that the eagle ray was in there but not what kind of condition she was in. He got to the doors and held his breath before opening them.
Elijah didn’t know what to expect, but once he was inside the room, he couldn’t believe what he saw. Everything would change.
The eagle ray inside the room looked as healthy as ever. The doctor monitoring her vitals explained that they had made sure she was in good health before they would release her back into the coastal waters.
But Elijah noticed something, where were her babies? He asked the doctor about the babies, but he shook his head.
He sadly explained that her offspring hadn’t survived. The trauma was just too much for them. But at least she made it out of the entire situation okay and would live a long life.
The doctor even added that she’d find another mate and have more children to cherish. All wasn’t lost, as long as she survived the ordeal to live another day.
A Full Recovery
Elijah visited the stingray once a week until she fully recovered. The day of her release was finally here, and she could go back to where she belonged – the open ocean. They even let Elijah come and watch her be set free.
He was glad that he had saved her life. He was assured that if he hadn’t acted so quickly, she would have never survived.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.