View Full Version : Here's a cool Shark story.

Joe Seahawk
11-30-2004, 04:15 PM

WHANGAREI : A pod of dolphins were being praised Tuesday for providing a protective barrier around a group of swimmers who were being threatened by a great white shark off the northeastern coast of New Zealand.

Rob Howes and three other lifeguards were on a training swim about 100 metres off shore at Ocean Beach near here when the dolphins raced in and herded the group together.

"They started to herd us up, they pushed all four of us together by doing tight circles around us," Howe said.

When he tried to drift away from the group, two of the bigger dolphins herded him back.

He then saw why. A three-metre long great white shark was cruising towards the group about two metres below the surface.

"I just recoiled. It was only about two metres away from me, the water was crystal clear and it was as clear as the nose on my face," he said, adding he then realised the dolphins had moved in to protect the swimmers.

The group was surrounded by the dolphins for 40 minutes before they were able to make it back to shore.

Another lifeguard, Matt Fleet, was patrolling nearby in a rescue boat when he saw the dolphins' unusual behaviour.

When he dived out of the boat to join the group he also saw the great white.

Fleet said he was keen to get out of the water after the sighting, but didn't panic.

"I just kept looking around to see where it was," said Fleet.

The incident happened about three weeks ago, but Howes and Fleet said they had kept the story to themselves until they had a chance to catch up and confirm what they had seen.

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. "They like to help the helpless." - AFP

11-30-2004, 04:21 PM
Well, I wouldn't have worried if I was in that position.. the shark would want a bite of a guy covered in his own FECES!

seriously.. I would have sh!t my pants!

Rain Man
11-30-2004, 04:22 PM
That's amazing. One has to wonder why they'll go out of their way to protect another creature. It doesn't make sense from a Darwinistic standpoint.

Unless of course they were planning to eat the humans themselves.

11-30-2004, 04:24 PM
Although a great story, its been about a week since it's been published. In that week's time the human race rewarded that heroic pod of dolphins by killing two of them. (poachers... I'll see if I can find the link to the article)

Joe Seahawk
11-30-2004, 04:26 PM
Although a great story, its been about a week since it's been published. In that week's time the human race rewarded that heroic pod of dolphins by killing two of them. (poachers... I'll see if I can find the link to the article)


That really pisses me off.. Let's see if the Dolphins protect them next time. :harumph:

11-30-2004, 04:29 PM
this isn't the original story I read, but it is paraphrased

Wellington - New Zealand fishermen may have killed two of the dolphins that recently helped protect swimmers from a Great White shark attack, lifeguards said at the weekend.

Two dolphins were found dead in a river in Whangarei Harbour, on North Island, said animal protection officer Jim Boyd.

Officials believe they may have been mutilated by criminals poaching fish.

Lifeguard Rob Howes said he feared the two dolphins may have been part of the pod that ganged up to protect swimmers from a circling Great White.

"This is how we repay them for their help," he said.


Rain Man
11-30-2004, 05:18 PM
That really stinks.

Jenny Gump
11-30-2004, 05:34 PM
I only want to hear about a shark story if it's YOUR shark story. This blows.

11-30-2004, 06:06 PM
Cool story. As a bit of a shark buff myself, I sort of hate the way the media portray it, though. What leads them to believe the swimmers were being "threatened" by the shark? The guy said the shark was "cruising." "Cruising" is not a very apt description of white shark threatening behavior. New Zealand is the most common place in the world for white shark attacks, but it sounds like this was wasn't up to anything sinister.

Still, it's pretty darn cool that the dolphins gathered around the humans, apparently trying to protect them.

Also, why is God's name do they believe the dolphins that were killed were the same ones that protected the humans? There are thousands upon thousands of dolphins in New Zealand waters -- how would they have any idea if they were the same ones? Sounds, again, like the media trying to make a story out of something that's not.