Monday, August 3, 2009

Beluga Whales Save Diver

Photo courtesy: The Sydney Morning Herald.

Beluga whales, like the one pictured above, seem to have an affinity for human beings. Certainly, we have heard stories of dolphins guiding swimmers to shore or protecting swimmers from sharks. There are many stories where dolphins or whales have come to the aid of humans in distress. Here's one more heart-warming story from China.

A young diver in China owes her life to a Beluga Whale. Mila, the whale, took the relationship with humans to a new level at the Polar Land Aquarium in Harbin, North East China. Yang Yun was competing in a free-dive competition there. She hoped to eventually to land a job training whales. As one of seven finalists, Yang was required to dive as deep as she could in the icy water of the aquarium's tanks without any diving gear. As she ran out of breath and prepared to resurface, leg cramps prevented her ascent.

The young woman began to sink unable to fight the greater negative bouyancy of the deeper water. Mila and her companion, Nicola, somehow sensed the urgency of the situation. Mila gripped the diver's leg in her mouth and pushed Yang to the surface.

Two videos overleaf show the news: one with stills of the underwater rescue interspersed with written narrative of the compelling drama. Beautiful, calming whale calls can be heard in the background.

This video shows the amazing scene as Mila grasps Yang Yun's leg. Belugas have very small teeth, so Yang emerged unscathed from her unique rescue.

1 comment:

kathi said...

Singing Rafi's "Baby Beluga." Great story!