At that point, the whale had all but delivered Hauser back to the boat after an intense few minutes of wrangling her and spinning her around. When the moment was right, Hauser quickly jumped back into the boat and the whale lingered nearby to make sure she had gotten there OK.
“I just put my hands on my face and started crying,” Hauser said. “I can’t say whether they were tears of relief that I was alive, or because I had just experienced the most incredible thing I have ever seen in my life.”
Humpback whales are known for their altruism, and there are several documented cases of them trying to save other animals from danger. Marine biologist Robert Pitman analyzed this behavior for over 60 years and concluded that humpbacks will frequently band together to interrupt killer whale attacks, regardless of the type of animal that is being attacked.