Dolphin asks divers for help in Tenerife

It was a special dive during a holiday in 2012 on Costa Adeje Tenerife. I was diving with Federico Palomo from Blue Bottom Diving and something real special happened that dive..

This ‘fun dive’ with my fourteen year old buddy Nynke was a pleasant one, and she had already taken loads of pictures with her small camera. Just before we started our ascent together, dive leader Federico motioned me to make a picture of a large ray. I borrowed Nynke’s camera, and she went to the surface with two other buddies.

I had enough gas left to return and after making the picture, Federico started our own ascent, as all other divers had returned the boat already. During our safety stop at six meters, a large creature approached us: it was a dolphin!

Upon a closer look, we discovered that the poor creature was attached to a large floating buoy, through a thick rope around its tail fin. The dolphin kept moving around us, it seemed to ask for help. We did no hesitate, but decided to take action immediately.

This was my first real photo dive, and holding the camera, I kept the rope taut while Federico tried to cut it. The rope was already cutting deep into the skin.When we tried to cut the rope close to the tail, the dolphin seemed to feel pain, and it would swap its powerful tail, so we could not hold on properly.

Even though there was quite a lot going on under water, the whole procedure went smoothly: we did not panic, we just did what we had to do and the dolphin left it all to us. Finally, Federico could remove the buoy, but unfortunately not all of the line. The dolphin swam away, but returned one more time. Maybe it wanted to thank us before it went out into the big blue again.

This wild animal sought our help, even its distress was also caused by humans. And if I had not made the pictures, no one would probably believe us.

Text & photos: Olf Smetsers (The Netherlands)