Earlier this month, while on an nighttime swim with manta rays off the coast of Hawaii, a group of divers were surprised to see a single Bottlenose dolphin approach and linger among them, though it appeared unable to swim normally.
Only after the dolphin continued to circle near around him so insistently did diving instructor Keller Laros begin to realize the animal wasn't merely being curious -- it was actually asking them for help. The dolphin's movements were restricted because it had become entangled in fishing line and a hook was lodged in its pectoral fin.
Incredibly, the wild dolphin then appears to readily comply with Laros's efforts to help, positioning its body to make his work easier, seeming to give full trust in the terrestrial stranger.
Thankfully, Laros was able to remove the line and hook from the dolphin, very likely saving the animal's life.
"I was at the right place at the right time. I am honored to share the footage with all of you." writes Martina S. Wing, owner of the touring company Ocean Wings Hawaii, who filmed the moving rescue. "Let's make better decisions for the ocean and the creatures that inhabit it. I strive to make a difference, and you can make one, too!"
While it's always encouraging to hear stories of aquatic creatures saved from ocean debris, especially discarded fishing nets, lines and hooks -- for every one heartwarming rescue, there are countless sad endings for marine life.