Dusk came as Dabal’s hopes started to vanish and a creeping darkness began to envelope him. From out of nowhere, a pod of around 30 dolphins and a pair of whales measuring about 10 meters in length came and started to flank him on both sides.
“Dumating yung mga dolphins. Ang dami nila. Tapos may lumapit na dalawang balyena. Dun sila sa tigkabilang tabi ko lumalangoy,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. (There were dolphins, lots of them. Then a pair of whales started swimming on both sides)
Dabal, 35 and father of two kids, swore it was not his mind playing tricks on him even as his energy was starting to fail him.
As he lay still on top of his piece of plastic board, Ronnie narrated how the dolphins would alternately nudge his tiny life raft using their pectoral fins towards the direction of land.
Dabal is a part-time dolphin warden for the bay. His duties include spotting dolphin groups for tourists and removing garbage from their territory. Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn was excited by the story.
“Ronnie’s experience is the greatest proof that what we are doing to protect our marine environment is worth all the effort that we are putting into it. I’d like to think that this is the animals’ way of also thanking us for helping protect their habitat,” said Hagedorn.
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/regions/view/20081216-178325/Dolphins-save-Puerto-Princesa-fisherman -Thanks, Marco Martinez!
(image credit: Flickr user julesnene)