Dolphins shield swimmers from shark
By Associated Press
Posted November 24 2004
WELLINGTON, New Zealand A pod of dolphins saved a group of swimmers from a predatory 10-foot great white shark off the northern New Zealand coast, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
The unusual incident occurred Oct. 30 when lifeguard Rob Howes took his 15-year-old daughter Niccy and two of her friends swimming near the town of Whangarei, The Northern Advocate said.
The dolphins, "started to herd us up, they pushed all four of us together by doing tight circles around us," Howes told the newspaper. When Howes tried to break away from the protective group, two of the bigger dolphins herded him back, he said.
Howes then spotted what he described as a 10-foot great white shark cruising toward them, but the man-eater was apparently repelled by the ring of dolphins and swam away.
"It was only about six feet away from me, the water was crystal clear and it was as clear as the nose on my face," he said.
Howes realized what the dolphins were doing: "They had corralled us up to protect us."
Another lifeguard, Matt Fleet, on patrol in a lifeboat, saw the dolphins circling the swimmers and slapping their tails on the water to keep them in place. Fleet told the newspaper he also had a clear sighting of the shark.

"Some of the people later on the beach tried to tell me it was just another dolphin but I knew what I saw," he said.
Ingrid Visser, who has been studying marine mammals for 14 years, told the newspaper that there have been reports from around the world of dolphins protecting swimmers. She said that in this case the dolphins probably sensed the humans were in danger and took action to protect them.

Visser, of the group Orca Research, said dolphins will attack sharks to protect themselves and their young.
Isn't that cool?? I'm glad they like us, though I don't know why, considering how we treat the world.
Cindy
Isn't that cool?? I'm glad they like us, though I don't know why, considering how we treat the world.

We probably provide them with entertainment, and they won't realise that pollution, etc. is our fault, if they're even aware of it.
They may have been shielding the swimmers from the shark, but I doubt the swimmers were in any danger from it. It was most likely looking for a feast of nice blubbery dolphin (if it was even hungry to begin with. A good meal can feed a GW for four months)