April 26, 2014 5:31 pm

WATCH: Dolphins save long-distance swimmer from possible shark attack

A group of dolphins came to the rescue of a British long-distance swimmer during a marathon swim off the coast of New Zealand.

Adam Walker was in the middle of his swim to conquer the Cook Strait, one of the world’s toughest oceans, when he spotted a six-foot shark beneath him. As Walker began to panic, a pod of roughly 10 dolphins swam up beside him and the shark quickly took off.

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“I’d like to think they were protecting me and guiding me home. This swim will stay with me forever.” Walker told the Mirror. “It would be nice to think the dolphins stayed with me and were thinking ‘We’ll just help our pal get through.’”

After the shark swam off, the dolphins continued to escort Walker for more than an hour as he swam the Cook Straits, from Wellington to Perano Head.

Coincidentally, Walker is swimming to raise money for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Charity. Walker, who completed the 26-kilometre Cook Strait, has swam six of the seven oceans. His final challenge is the Irish Sea which he plans to take on in August.

WATCH: Tourists rescue baby dolphin stranded on a beach in Greece

Dolphins have been known in the past to rescue swimmers.

In 2004, a pod of dolphins saved a group of swimmers from a great white sharkattack near New Zealand. Lifeguard Rob Howes told The Northern Advocate he and three others were swimming near Ocean Beach when they were pushed together by a group of dolphins.

“They started to herd us up, they pushed all four of us together by doing tight circles around us,” Howes said.

Howes later realized why when he saw a three-metre-long great white shark cruising toward the group before it swam away.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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