For as long as people have braved the sea, stories have surfaced about individuals being rescued by dolphins from all sorts of harrowing situations. Whether it be a story about dolphins defending a swimmer from a frenzy of sharks, or a dolphin swimming a lost drifter back to shore, these extraordinary tales are often hard to believe. Many will dismiss them as accounts of fiction; some will call them miracles. But perhaps dolphins are just much more in tune with the concepts of human emotion and compassion than we have given them credit for.
Whether or not all of these tales of dolphin-rescue are embellished or 100% true, it is clear that dolphins are able to recognize when people are in need of their help. After watching the story of Manta ray diver Keller Laros, it seems that dolphins are also able to recognize when they are in need of help from humans; and as demonstrated by Laros’ dolphin rescue, they are not unwilling to ask for it, either.
According to Laros, he and a group of divers were watching manta rays off the Coast of Hawaii when they were approached by a dolphin. The dolphin appeared to indicate to the divers that it was tangled in fishing line, and “came in to ask for help,” explained witness Martina Wing.
“I noticed he had a fishing wire wrapped around his left fin,” Laros said. “I reached out with my left hand … and gestured with my index finger ‘Come here.’ And he swam right up to me. The fact that he seemed to recognize my gesture, that blew me away.”
“He put himself in the position to allow me to most effectively remove the hook and the line,” Laros said. “That was just amazing, to think that that animal is that smart.”
Laros was able to cut the tangled line from the dolphin and set the magnificent creature on it’s way.