Off the northeastern coast of New Zealand swimmers were protected by a group of dolphins from a great white shark.
There were four swimmers – lifeguards – performing a training swim at about 100 meters off the coast at Ocean Beach, Whangarei when unexpectedly dolphins appeared.
“They started to herd us up, they pushed all four of us together by doing tight circles around us,” Mr Howe – one of the lifeguards said.
Two of the dolphins pushed him back, when he tried to drift away from the group.
The reason became apparent soon: About two meters below the surface Mr Howe saw a three meter great white shark cruising toward the group.
“I just became frightened. There was only about 5-6 meters between the shark and us, the water was crystal clear and it was as clear as the nose on my face,” he said, adding that it was at that point that he realized the dolphins were trying to protect and rescue them.
The group were surrounded by the dolphins for 40 minutes before they were able to reach the shore.
Auckland University marine mammal research scientist Doctor Rochelle Constantine said dolphins were normally vigilant in the presence of sharks.
The altruistic response of the dolphins was normal, she said.