Keller Laros and his friend were enjoying a night of diving with manta rays off the coast of Kona in Hawaii when, all of a sudden, their beautiful experience was interrupted by a noisy bottlenose dolphin.
The creature was squealing in pain and distress—Laros knew he had to help it.
“At first I was startled, I heard the dolphin squeak really loud. When I turned around it was literally 3 feet from me!” Laros told Fox News.
The dolphin swam around him twice. When it came close to Laros, he noticed something was very wrong—a hook was stuck in its fin.
“That’s when I realized the dolphin was there because it was in trouble,” Laros said.
He started unwrapping the hook from the fin but noticed something worse—a fishing line was wrapped around the dolphin’s left pectoral fin leading up its mouth and trailing down by its side.
He had to act fast but carefully.
The dolphin had come to the right man. Laros had almost 30 years’ experience as a scuba instructor and had logged over 10,000 dives. The diver had freed manta rays and turtles many times from fishing line. He knew the line is sharp—and if it gets tighter it can cause bad injuries.
But for the dolphin to come up to him, “It was a first,” Laros told Fox News.
The marine expert suspected it would be much worse for a dolphin.
“I don’t think the dolphin would survive that if he lost his pectoral fin. If we didn’t get that fishing line off, I was pretty sure he would lose that pectoral fin,” Laros said.
The dolphin was obviously in agony—but did not swim off.
If he continued unwrapping it, he would cause the animal more pain.
Luckily for the injured dolphin, the caring diver had the right equipment with him. With his torch he inspected the fin, then took out his scissors and cut the line wrapped quite tightly around it.
All the while, the dolphin swam in a circle around Laros, even going up for air and coming back, letting him undo the line and hook. The creature even rolled itself over so that Laros was better positioned to do the disentangling.
He freed it—and the relief was visible.
The injury left a little wound on the dolphin’s fin, but Laros believed it would heal in a short time.
He was struck by how the dolphin stayed calm and patient during his “treatment” to remove the fishing line, according to the Daily Mail.
This confirmed what Laros already knew—dolphins are smart.
“The dolphin had a problem and figured out a solution. The only thing it needed was somebody to help it. I’m glad I was at the right place at the right time and was able to do the right thing,” Laros told Fox News.
This shows how animals have an instinct for kind humans—and this dolphin certainly was also in the right place at the right time.