Caught on camera: Close encounter with whale shark off Molokini

A group of tourists enjoying a cruise around the Hawaiian islands got to witness something very few locals ever get to see.

A whale shark was spotted Monday in waters off Molokini, which is a crescent-shaped crater near Maui.

Ryan Wickersheim is a photographer on board the Pride of Hawaii cruise ship.

He normally takes pictures of guests, but on Monday, he decided to join some of them in the water.

“I look off into the distance and it looked like a school of fish. I was like, that is something strange, and I got a little bit closer and it was the white dots on the whale shark,” he said.

Wickersheim believes the whale shark was about 30 feet long.

He says this is his fourth time seeing one, but it’s a memorable experience every time.

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