A pod of dolphins were rescued from the coast of Tora on Sunday. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED
Three generations of a Wairarapa family led a brave rescue of a pod of dolphins at Tora’s rocky coastline on Sunday, MARCUS ANSELM reports.
Dick Kai, his son Kevin, and grandson Lincoln Thomson-Kai rushed to help when dozens of dolphins were in trouble near Tora.
They were stuck after a scare from a group of orcas the Kais had spotted while diving earlier.
Dick Kai and his wife Lyn had returned home to Wairarapa for a family bereavement.
The family are experienced and regular divers.
Dick’s family had a bach at Castlepoint and his sons are often out on the coast.
They had seen the orcas while out diving for paua and crayfish – a rare luxury for Dick, who now lives in Surfers Paradise.
They had finished up for the morning at about 11am when they noticed several dolphins stuck up against rocks on the coastline.
The trio then went back into the water to help.
“We were heading back from Tora, and round the next bay we saw orcas, killer whales in the water,” Dick said.
“We thought it seemed strange there were so many around. We looked down the hill, down the cliff face – it wasn’t a big cliff face – and there were these dolphins who were obviously scared and been chased by the killer whales.
“They weren’t beached, but they were hard up against the rocks with nowhere else to go.
“The boy and my grandson went down. I don’t know how many they herded back in.
“It was literally dozens. Some were bleeding as they hit the sharp rocks.
“And you know how frantic they would be.
“We couldn’t just leave them there.
“Once we herded them back into deeper water, they swam round in their shoals.
“We don’t really know [after that].
“We were there for about 40 or 50 minutes.
“We herded as much as we could. By that time, there was about another 30 or 40 people there.
“The boys got them all out, my son and my grandson.
“But we can’t speak for after that.
“They may have been chased back in.
“But that’s about the guts of it.
“We left satisfied that we’d done all we could, but they may have come back in.
“But that’s nature.”
Kevin, who led the rescue, said he told his son Lincoln that is what you should do if you see an animal in distress.
“It’s just one of those things. You just do what you’ve got to do.”
The Department of Conservation has been informed.