A whale dramatically saves a drowning diver’s life by hauling her gently to the surface.
Yang Yun, 26, believed she would die when she was paralysed by leg cramps at the bottom of a freezing aquarium pool during a competition.
But Mila the beluga whale, sensing her distress, grabbed Yun in its mouth and dragged her to the top.
The diver told how she feared the worst as she struggled alone.
She said: “I began to choke and sank even lower and I thought that was it for me – I was dead… untill I felt this incredible force under me driving me to the surface.”
Yun was taking part in a free diving event in Harbin, North East China, in which competitors stay underwater for as long as possible without breathing gear.
An organiser said: “Mila noticed the problem before we did.
“We saw the girl being pushed to the top with her leg in Mila’s mouth.
“She’s a sensitive animal who works closely with humans. I think this girl owes her her life.”
Belugas, which grow to up to 20ft and can weigh around one tonne, are highly intelligent and use a range of sounds to communicate.