Wollongong Freedivers Michael North and Sandra Dohring removed more than rubbish from the city’s harbour on Clean Up Australia Day.
The duo rescued a blind shark which was hooked on a fishing line tangled in some kelp.
It took a number of attempts and Mr North was bitten in the process but he managed to remove the hook and free the shark.
Ms Dohring, who filmed the rescue, said the shark was in a bad way.
“I think the shark was really tired. I’m pretty sure if we didn’t find him he would have probably eventually died,” she said.
“You could see he had been there for a little while. As soon as we removed the hook it swam fine but you could see it was still struggling.
“But he was okay and he will survive.”
The free divers found the blind shark near the entrance of the harbour in only three metre deep water.
“It was quite shallow water so he was easy to see,” Ms Dohring said.
The duo and four other free divers also removed heaps of rubbish from the harbour on Sunday.
“We found heaps of household items such camping chairs as well as fishing waste including fishing lines, ropes and cray traps,” Ms Dohring said.
“There was also heaps of bottles, cans, plastic bags and shoes.
“We [Wollongong Freedivers} plan on doing a harbour clean at least once a month because we always find waste in there.”