Screen shot 2013-01-24 at 12.40.51 PM

They were going on a nighttime swim with manta rays. They got so much more.

A group of divers in Hawaii got an unusual and exciting opportunity to play hero earlier this month when they saved a bottle-nosed dolphin who was (potentially fatally) caught in a fishing line. A hook had worked its way into the dolphin’s pectoral fin.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

When the dolphin approached the divers, they thought he was just hanging around, being friendly, as dolphins are wont to do. But when the dolphin started to circle them, and lingered a long time, they realized he was asking for help. Diving instructor Keller Laros said the dolphin was very receptive to his help, making sure he turned his body in a way that Laros could get at the hook and the line and get it off of him.

The rescue was filmed by Laros’ colleague Marina S. Wing, who said simply that she was “lucky to be in the right place at the right time.” And we are lucky to see this heartwarming video.

It’s nice to see the good guys win sometimes. Here’s another similar rescue, if you’re not already choked up.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.