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Dolphin Tales: Dolphins saving humans

May 13, 2020
By Capt. Cathy Eagle , Pine Island Eagle

There are many legends, and in more recent times, news reports of dolphins coming to the aid of humans in peril. Victims of shark attacks tell of dolphins rushing to the scene and repelling sharks with high-speed blows, and drowning swimmers have testified that dolphins lifted them to the surface to breathe.

A dolphin's sonar penetrates a human body, making our skeletons, lungs and heart visible (dolphins are even able to hear an embryo's heartbeat, and are especially fascinated by pregnant women). As fellow mammals, it is possible that dolphins recognize similarities in humans, and understand that we are vulnerable to drowning and attacks from predators.

Dolphins sometimes repeatedly ram sharks to kill them or drive them away, but are rarely aggressive towards humans, even when provoked. In fact, dolphins are known to form protective rings around swimmers and surfers to guard them from sharks.

In 2004, the Guardian reported that four people were saved in New Zealand from a great white shark by a pod of dolphins, which swam circles around them for 40 minutes, until the shark lost interest and swam away.

"They started to herd us up, they pushed all four of us together by doing tight circles around us," Rob Howes, who had taken his daughter and her two friends for a swim, told the New Zealand Press Association.

Dolphin are truly amazing creatures.

Capt. Cathy Eagle has spent over 40 years boating in our local waters. As a professional charter captain, she specializes in dolphin and nature tours. Visit CaptainCathy.com or call 239 994-2572.

 
 

 

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