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
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
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