BACKPACKERS Alex Miller and Ruben Spoelstra were surfing at Yamba's Pippi Beach when they thought they spotted a shark in the water.
On closer inspection, however, it became clear the animal was a baby dolphin, with its tail stuck in a crab trap.
"We first thought it was a shark because of the way it was swimming, but soon realised she was almost drowning from the weight of the trap," Mr Miller said.
"We decided to out smart the 'second smartest' animal in the world and corner her in the shallow waters nearer the beach, which proved a lot harder that we thought because dolphins are smart..."
"It was a long process getting the five foot long baby into shallow water to detangle epically with her eight foot mother watching over us.
"Eventually the mother gave us space and I managed to free her tail from the net, exhausted. I held her in the surf for a moment then she re-joined her mum."
While the incident happened about three months ago and Mr Miller, from South London, has since moved on in his travels, he shared a video of the rescue just this week in an attempt to raise awareness.
In just a few days it has been viewed more than 30,000 times.
"I know what your thinking, 'hero'. You'd be right. But I just did what anyone else would have done," Mr Miller joked.
"Jokes aside it's really s***** that this happened and if we hadn't intervened she would have died from drowning or shark attack," he said.
"I notified the coast guard, local businesses ect.. and hopefully this video can raise some awareness also."
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