An uplifting story about a pregnant dolphin rescued by legendary Italian diver, Enzo Maiorca – who inspired the 1988 film ‘The Big Blue’ – is inspiring a new generation to take care of the ocean… with social media users passionately sharing the Facebook post this week.
The tale was posted on Friday, and recounts the late Sicilian diver’s almost miraculous saving of a dolphin trapped in fish nets, whose mate incredulously reached out to the humans and led Enzo and his daughters to the pregnant mammal.
Is the story of Enzo Maiorca and the dolphin rescue true?
Some have wondered how tall a tale this is… but according to SAPeople’s research, the basics of the story itself are true, although some of the details (like the dolphin kissing him goodbye) may be a little fictionalised!
Here’s the heart-warming story going viral on Facebook (followed by Enzo’s own account):
”The famous Italian diver Enzo Mallorca dove into the sea of Syracuse and was talking to his daughter Rossana who was aboard the boat. Ready to go in, he felt something slightly hit his back.
He turned and saw a dolphin. Then he realized that the dolphin did not want to play but to express something.
The animal dove and Enzo followed.
At a depth of about 12 meters, trapped in an abandoned net, there was another dolphin. Enzo quickly asked his daughter to grab the diving knives. Soon, the two of them managed to free the dolphin, which, at the end of the ordeal, emerged, issued an “almost human cry” (describes Enzo).
(A dolphin can stay under water for up to 10 minutes, then it drowns.)
The released dolphin was helped to the surface by Enzo, Rosana and the other dolphin. That’s when the surprise came: she was pregnant!
The male circled them, and then stopped in front of Enzo, touched his cheek (like a kiss), in a gesture of gratitude and then they both swam off.
Enzo Mallorca ended his speech by saying: “Until man learns to respect and speak to the animal world, he can never know his true role on Earth.” ~ Vangelis.”
Enzo did indeed share this story in 2011 during a Sea Shepherd campaign to defend the Bluefin Tuna in the Med. Here’s a transcript of what he said, as published by Sea Shepherd:
“Years ago, while we were diving, a male dolphin guided my daughters Rossana and Patrizia, and myself, almost leading us by our hands, and gave us the chance to save a female dolphin who was tangled up in the meshes of a swordfish net.
“I maintain that his brain waves influenced our minds. What is certain is that our arms were the stretcher by means of which we carried that poor exhausted animal, wracked by contractions, to the surface.
“As soon as she was on the surface, after breathing out foam and blood, she gave birth to a dolphin calf under the watchful eyes of her mate. The little one was led to his mama’s nipples by gentle strokes of the adult dolphin’s beak.
“I like to think that on that day we reunited a family.”
Enzo also spoke of the “rage” he then felt with the “illegal mass slaughter of cetaceans in Taiji, along with the one perpetrated illegally by the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary”.
Enzo (whose surname has also been spelt as Mallorca and Majorca) passed away in 2016 at 85, but is forever immortalised in The Big Blue, a fictionalised account of the friendship and rivalry between champion free divers Jacques Mayol (played by Jean-Marc Barr) and Enzo (played by Jean Reno). He was known throughout the Mediterranean as the ‘King of the Abyss’.
At his funeral a message from Sea Shepherd France’s President Lamya Essemlali was shared… about another of Enzo’s stories which she hoped would inspire others. Enzo had told her:
“I was diving in the shallows not far from the cape that reaches out to the open sea south of the bay of Syracuse. That morning I happened to spear a grouper (fish). A strong and combative grouper. On the bottom a real titanic struggle broke out, between me who wanted to take its life and the grouper who tried to save itself. The grouper was caught in a cavity between two rocks, trying to understand its position, I ran my right hand down the fish’s belly. Its heart was pounding in terror, mad with fear. And with that pulsing of blood I realized that I was killing a living being. Since then my spear-gun lies like a derelict, an archaeological item, in the dusty basement of my house. It was 1967.”
Lamya said: “Enzo Maiorca was a man who gave his heart to the sea. He understood her magic better than most and knew that the Ocean was the foundation for all life on this planet.”