AN INSKIP Point dolphin owes its life to four young men who dragged the desperate animal from a small sand island where it was stranded recently.
The four campers - brothers Tyronne and Troy Neilson, cousin Sy Neilson and mate Ashley Ross - were fishing in their usual spot off the point when they saw something large on the sand in the distance.
"Is that a dolphin over there bro?" Ashley asked.
It didn't take long for the boys, all from Hervey Bay, to confirm it with a pair of borrowed binoculars.
After phoning Tin Can Bay Parks and Wildlife but getting no response, the boys took matters into their own hands and hailed the Manta Ray Barge operators, the lesser-known heroes of the story.
The Fraser Island car ferry stopped its scheduled trips and carried the boys to the small island, where the 2m dolphin lay "stranded and dry" about 10m from the shoreline.
"It had a good look at all of us," Tyronne said, before he, with the help of his cousin, grabbed the dolphin by its tail and dragged it into the water, while the other boys kept it wet.
When it reached the sea it headed straight for a handful of dolphins and immediately began frolicking, Tyronne said.
The dolphins followed the boys who were back on the barge, before having another big splash not far from where they resumed fishing.
Tyronne said it felt amazing to save an animal and couldn't imagine not doing it.
"We did what we had to do."
Ashley Ross, an animal lover who has played with dolphins off boats on the coast before, said it definitely seemed like a thank you show by the dolphins.
"I think they have a brain similar to ours. They communicate with humans so well."
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