"Well, he kind of bumped me and I kind of rubbed him," Trevino said. "He kind of changed my attitude right there. He kind of like gives you hope."
Several hours later, a tanker passed close enough to Trevino to hear his calls for help. The Coast Guard had been on the lookout for Trevino since his friends were rescued the day before, and soon a helicopter was dispatched to airlift him to safety. Amazingly, despite his 31 hour ordeal, Trevino was found to be in good condition.
While Trevino's heartening encounter with an aquatic mammal was certainly remarkable, similar stories of cetaceans helping humans in need, directly or indirectly, stretch back centuries. Though some species have been observed actively protecting stranded swimmers from sharks, often just the presence of these animals alone is enough to inspire hope, which itself can be a lifesaver.
Note: In an email to The Dodo, marine biologist Dr. Bernd Würsig points out that the animal in this story was likely a bottlenose dolphin. Although the term "porpoise" is commonly used interchangeably with "dolphin", especially by fishermen and sailors along the Gulf of Mexico, taxonomically the two are considered distinct species.