A man who went missing while swimming was found thanks to some helpful dolphins.
The swimming was found off the coast of Ireland after being lost for almost 12 hours when volunteers from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) saw him surrounded by a pod of dolphins.
The RNLI reported: “At 20:30, the volunteer lifeboat crew with Fenit RNLI spotted a pod of dolphins and a head above the water about two-and-a-half miles off Castlegregory beach. The casualty was conscious and immediately recovered onto the lifeboat and brought to Fenit Harbour to be taken to hospital.”
The missing swimmer, who was found “hypothermic and exhausted” wearing only a swimsuit, was identified as a man in his 30 from County Londonderry.
He told rescuers that he was trying to swim out to a rock that was over 5 miles away from the beach when he got lost and ended up spending hours in the chilly waters.
Gerard O’Donnell of the RNLI told the BBC that they had been “scanning the water for any sign of movement and were worried with light fading that they would not find anyone,” before he was spotted amongst the pod of dolphins.
He is now recovering in the local hospital. Finbarr O’Connell told The Irish Independent that there were a lot of bottlenosed dolphins around added “Maybe they helped him in some way or another: who knows?”
This isn’t the first time that cetaceans such as whales and dolphins have helped protect humans in the ocean.
In early 2018, a humpback whale saved a woman from a shark attack by using its size to protect her and nudge her away from danger.
In 2004, four swimmers were saved from a great white shark attack by encircling them to form a protective ring around them, giving them a chance to escape.
In 2014, a similar story hit the headlines after a pod of dolphins kept a man safe from a nearby great white.