Video captured by a South Florida man shows the moment he was able to save a dolphin while jet skiing in Biscayne Bay.
The footage shows the man, identified as Nick Tuduri by Florida Highway Patrol, jet skiing with a friend in the open water when he notices a flailing dolphin. Immediately, Tuduri leaps into action.
He notices the dolphin's tail is caught in a trap. Afraid that the female dolphin will drown, Tuduri reaches into his jet ski to grab a knife.
After struggling to get a hold of the trap and the dolphin's tail, he finally is able to cut the dolphin free.
Later in the video, as Tuduri and his friend begin driving away, a family of dolphins can be seen swimming beside him — possibly as a sign of gratitude.
Biologists remind all swimmers and boaters that rescues are dangerous and to call a trained responder if possible to keep all humans and animals safe.
“While the out come was great in this scenario, we really want to encourage people to call the hotline or call enforcement prior to taking matters into their own hands because dolphins can be very dangerous.” said Blair Mase, the NOAA southeast region’s marine mammal stranding coordinator. “Handling any kind of marine life, dolphin or manatee, can be very very dangerous. So it’s important to either send people who are trained or have someone that can talk the person who reported it through the event.”
To report a stranded marine mammal in the Southeast U.S., the NOAA asks that you call their marine mammal stranding 24-hour hotline at 1-877-WHALE HELP (1-877-942-5343).
The NOAA wants to remind people that the best way you can help is by calling to report what you are seeing and by taking photos/video from a safe distance.