“…there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that dolphins come to the rescue of humans in danger at sea.” according to 7 News in Australia…
1. Dolphins Save Dog in Australia, March 2013
Cocker spaniel Ramsay was concentrating hard on catching those seagulls. He doggie-paddled after them, as he and Karyn Gitsham’s other dog, Buddy, often did on walks. But this time he swam too far.
Karyn Gitsham was concentrating hard on Ramsay’s plight when she slipped and herself wound up in the water at Carrickalinga Beach in South Australia. She too was in trouble from the overpowering waves.
Then came the fins. Gitsham saw one near Ramsay and feared that a shark was after him, but then she saw more and it came to her: a pod of dolphins was gathering around her dog. “These dolphins just formed this horseshoe and were guiding him in, pushing him in,” she said. The dolphins safely guided Ramsay to shore along with Gitsham. She calls it a miracle.
2. Dolphins Save Dog in Florida, February 2011
Turbo, one of Cindy Burnett’s two dobermans, escaped his yard when the gate was left open. Burnett and her sons searched the area thoroughly, but no Turbo.
The next morning brought a most welcome phone call: a neighbor had found Turbo. Well, it was more like she was told where to pick him up.
The dog had found his way into a canal and couldn’t get out, but dolphins saved the day. They guided Turbo to shallow water where he could stand. “If he had to tread water all night long, I know he wouldn’t have been able to,” Burnett said.
The dolphins stayed with Turbo and made a mighty racket by splashing around to alert people to the dog’s plight. A woman who lived on the canal heard the ruckus and retrieved the doberman from the water, then called the Burnetts.
3. Dolphins Save Surfer in Monterey, California, August 2007
A great white shark attacked 24-year-old Todd Endris when he went surfing at Marina State Park. The shark at first couldn’t get his teeth around both Endris and the surfboard, but on his second pass he sank his jaws into Endris’s torso, lacerating his back.
On his third bout the shark grabbed and started to swallow Endris’s right leg, which gave Endris leverage to kick the shark with his left leg until he let go. By this time the water around the surfer was thick with blood.
Then his rescuers arrived. The pod of dolphins drove off the shark and formed a protective circle around Endris until he got back on his board and caught a wave that took him to shore.
Despite his ordeal, once he recovered Endris went surfing again in the same spot with no animosity towards the shark. He said he wouldn’t want to go after the shark because “we’re in his realm, not the other way around.”
Human Attacks on Dolphins
Considering how often dolphins help humans and our companion animals, we are an ungrateful bunch. “Some dolphin populations are dwindling due to mortalities caused by destructive fishing gear, ocean pollution, and other human-caused threats.” One example is PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls), run-off from industry and agriculture, build up in dolphins and can kill their calves.
BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has injured some dolphins, while others fall prey to humans who deliberately catch them — like the dolphin who was found stabbed to death by a screwdriver. Dolphins are very intelligent, but perhaps they aren’t smart enough to steer clear of us altogether.
Photo credit: iStockphoto