Amazing Dolphin Rescue at San Benedicto

Our 19 years of exploring and interacting with the marine life at Socorro really paid off big a couple of weeks ago - it allowed us to help untangle a dolphin and possibly saved her life! 

With all the attention paid to Socorro's giant mantas, whale sharks, and intense shark and fish life, sometimes our wild dolphins drop under the radar. Unlike most wild dolphin encounters (which are fleeting to say the least) the wild dolphins at Socorro actually interact with divers, approaching them, posing in front of them, and generally have no fear of divers.

This dolphin rescue at San Benedicto Island, however, was one of the most unusual of all time! One of the dolphins seemed to be swimming oddly and slowly approached our lead divemaster, Rey, and simply presented herself to him. Rey could see right away that the dolphin's tail and pectoral fins were wrapped with monofilament line, making it difficult for her to swim properly.

And then the dolphin did an extraordinary thing . She rolled over, belly up, and simply stayed put. Rey said he knew she wanted help, and began to slowly and gently unravel the fishing line. The dolphin stayed perfectly still, only moving when it would actually help Rey's rescue efforts, so he started to work a bit faster...The dolphin, nearly freed, suddenly moved away, swam to the surface, took a breath, AND returned to the same position to let Rey finish the job. Amazing!

Rey's been interacting with the Socorro dolphins for more than fifteen years, so it's no surprise the dolphin selected him to help remove the monofilamnent line. The dolphins have come to look at the experienced crew of the Solmar V as routine visitors to their underwater home. It has taken years to earn their trust which certainly played a part in this amazing dolphin rescue.

Kudos to Rey, and kudos to all the divers there who maintained a respectful distance while Rey worked on the fishing line. On an interesting footnote, while the dolphin was comfortable with Rey, she did get a bit skittish when other divers slowly approached, and calmed down as they moved away.  


This article is from the Solmar V eNEWS Article Archive

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