A man was diving off Jupiter, Florida, last Thursday when he encountered a lemon shark in need of assistance.

Joshua Eccles is being called a hero on Facebook after he helped a lemon shark that had a huge rusty hook in its belly.

He told WPTV of West Palm Beach that the shark was nudging and bumping him, as if signalling something was wrong. Eccles checked the shark over and spotted the hook.

"I was lucky enough to be on this dive!" fellow diver Kimberly Smith wrote on the WPTV Facebook page.

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"Josh is amazing with the sharks, and it's not the first time he's removed hooks. But I'm thinking it's the first time he's removed a hook that was working its way out of the shark's belly."

Eccles' shark instincts were on point, perhaps due to his experience as a shark feeder at a venue in the Bahamas.

He said the shark should heal "no problems".