It is amazing that for all the anguish and cruelty that humans bestow on dolphins, these cetaceans still find it in their hearts to help save humans in distress. Recently, a pod of ten dolphins came to the aid of a British long-distance swimmer, who may have been someone’s snack without their help.
Adam Walker was on a sixteen-mile marathon swim in the waters of New Zealand’s Cook Strait, when he noticed a six-foot great white shark swimming in the water beneath him. Within seconds the dolphins surrounded him and remained by his side. Even when the shark disappeared, the dolphins swam with Walker for more than an hour through the Cook Straits, from Wellington to Perano Head. Walker said that the dolphins swam so close that at one point he brushed one of their tails.
“I’d like to think they were protecting me and guiding me home. This swim will stay with me forever,” Walker said. “It would be nice to think the dolphins stayed with me and were thinking ‘We’ll just help our pal get through’,” the swimmer added.
If anyone was deserving of their help it was Walker, as he was swimming to raise proceeds for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a nonprofit organization. Walker embarked on the Cook Strait swim as part of the Oceans Seven, a global challenge to complete seven long-distance swims. He crossed the Cook Strait in eight hours and thirty-six minutes.
Walker is already most of the way through the Oceans Seven challenge, having previously completed swims across the English Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Molokai Channel, Catalina Channel and Tsugaru Channel. His final swim will be in August, when he will attempt to swim the North Channel, which separates Northern Ireland from Scotland.
It may be safe to say that there are eleven heroes in this story, and the dolphins sensed that the one who did not look like them was on their side.
Ohoto Credit: Facebook: courtesy of Adam Walker