A helping fin

What should we think about this? A swimmer says that upon seeing a shark around him, a pod of dolphins appeared to “protect” him.

Dolphins Protect Long-Distance Swimmer From Great White Shark.

Walker found himself swimming New Zealand’s Cook Strait as a part of the Oceans Seven mission. The British open-water swimmer hopes to be the second person ever to complete this group of seven long-distance swims in sites around the world. He is also looking to raise funds for Stop Whaling, a nonprofit group focused on whale and dolphin conservation.

His swim in New Zealand spanned 16 miles, and he didn’t expect to encounter any sharks. But, alas, Walker looked down in the middle of the swim and saw a great white below him.

Walker was worried, to say the least. And then a pod of dolphins swam up and surrounded him. The group of about 10 stayed with him for an hour until the shark left.

Walker did finish his long distance swim. After 8 hours and 36 minutes.

Did the dolphins act altrustic? Or was there some other motivation. It seems impossible to conclude what their intent was but people LOVED it.

  4 comments for “A helping fin

  1. Gary
    April 27, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Dolphins are often attracted to boats and there are at least 2 there. Also, I doubt that he was able to see what was below him. Was he, for some reason, closing his eyes when his face was above the water and opening them when his face was submerged? That’s the only way I can imagine that his eyes would be adjusted to see under the water, but even so, the dark lenses probably would have limited his vision.

  2. Daran
    April 27, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    This has happened many times in different places around the world, not a new thing

  3. drwfishesman
    April 30, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    There is no way to attribute motivation to what the dolphins are doing in these situations. Humans just make their best guess of what the behavior means based on their own standards.

  4. RDW
    May 2, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Thank Goodness there were no Japanese “Science” expeditions nearby. Dolphins are very smart animals with hints at complex emotional backgrounds. I’d think their actions might mean they wanted to protect this person, perhaps to prevent blood from being spilled, attracting more sharks and a feeding frenzy. This would also protect their own pod. Of course, that is all speculation, but doesn’t seem too far-fetched. Science has always began with healthy speculation.

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