Dolphins ‘Push’ Surfer to Shore With Massive Shark Lurking in the Water Nearby

by Lauren Boisvert
(Image Credit: Lee Chee Keong/Getty Images)

On Sept. 25, an Australian surfer was catching waves at Wallagoot Beach, New South Wales, when he was warned of a huge, 20-foot shark stalking him in the water. Surfer Bill Ballard noticed first that the dolphins in the area, which had previously been surfing and feasting on fish, were acting strange before an aircraft swooped low over the water to warn him of the danger.

“It’s hard to describe, but [the dolphins] kept coming up to the surface to look at me and also began swimming back and forward, coming closer and trying to push me towards the shore,” Ballard told Australian newspaper the Courier-Mail.

Then, a nearby aircraft, which had been watching the dolphins feeding nearby, came close to the water. The passengers leaned out of the aircraft and shouted at Ballard that there was a shark. They gestured to a 20-foot shadow lurking nearby. The aircraft was too low to come up again and crashed in the water near shore. Luckily, no one was hurt in the crash.

Ballard caught a wave that pushed him to shore, and he checked on the occupants of the aircraft. Ballard spoke to one of the passengers. “She kept saying, ‘That shark was so close to you, so close, and it was the biggest one I’ve ever seen. It must have been around 20 feet long,'” Ballard recalled. “I am so thankful. They were like guardian angels coming to save me.”

Ballard continued, “At first, I thought they must have mistaken it for a dolphin, and I kept asking if they were sure it wasn’t, but the pilot said, ‘No, I’ve been flying for years and I know exactly what a shark looks like.'”

Dolphin Trapped in Shallow Water Whistles To Nearby Man for Help

In this situation from Sept. 25, the roles are reversed. Instead of a dolphin saving a man, a man helped save a dolphin in Cornwall, England. A dolphin was stuck in mud and a shallow riverbed about 3 miles from the nearest ocean. The dolphin whistled to a passerby, getting his attention. The man attempted to free the dolphin, but its fins were stuck in the mud. In the video, it’s clear the water was much too low for the animal to swim out, as well.

Eventually, a marine rescue crew was called, and they worked to keep the dolphin hydrated and get it out of the mud. They then hauled the dolphin up on a boat to take it to a better location. The rescue crew took the dolphin out to deeper ocean and let it go. At first, it looks like it has some trouble getting acclimated, maybe after being out of the water for a while. But, the animal swims off quickly, looking no worse for wear. A great success if I’ve ever seen one, all thanks to a little whistle and some handy helpers.