Categorized | Environment, Featured, Videos

Dolphin approaches scuba divers for a little assistance

(Video courtesy of Keller Laros and Ocean Wings Hawaii)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

Keller Laros has more than 10,000 scuba divers under his belt, but last week he was faced with something new.

A bottlenose dolphin became hanging around Jan. 11 as Laros was leading a night dive tour off Kona to view and film manta rays.

Surrounded by manta rays, Laros was surprised to hear a squeak behind him and turned to find himself face-to-face with the distressed dolphin.

Although not unusual to see curious dolphins, Laros was struck by the persistence of this particular visitor. As the dolphin circled the divers, Laros noticed a fishing line wrapped around his left pectoral fin that stretched into his mouth and trailed the length of his body.

In addition, a fishing hook was embedded in the same fin, which combined with the line, was restricting the dolphin’s movement. Such a situation could quickly become life-threatening for marine life.

Laros motioned to the dolphin to come closer and he complied, rolling over so Laros could tackle the problem. Laros started to work on the tangle with his fingers, but soon knew that would not be enough.

“I carry a dive knife, but it’s only ever been out of its holster a couple times, and I didn’t know if it would be sharp enough to do the trick,” he said. “But I was able to cut the line away and I did get the hook out too. The funny thing is you can hear me say in the video ‘come here’ and he did.”

Laros managed to get of the tangle removed, when the dolphin headed for the surface and breath of air. He immediately came back, so Laros and another dive guide could finish the job.

“After that, he seemed OK and just swam off,” Laros said. “I’m certain he know what was going on.”

Laros said he spent more than 8 minutes with the dolphin, including several minutes that the dolphin allowed Laros to touch and maneuver him while he cut the line.

Laros said he wasn’t frightened by the encounter, but was a little concerned he might hurt the 10-foot dolphin or it might get spooked by the activity.

Although Laros has removed many fishing hooks from manta rays and turtles, but this dolphin was a first.

“I’m not a fisherman, so I don’t really know it happened,” he said. “Maybe he swallowed some bait and got the hook too. That would be my guess.”

Laros, founder of the Manta Pacific Research Foundation, said the video makes clear that the dolphin came to him for help and he was in no way harassing or pursuing it.

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One Response to “Dolphin approaches scuba divers for a little assistance”

  1. Iswinar Win says:

    dolphin is a best friend in ocean..


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