Video has surfaced showing a woman freediving with dolphins along with her 2-year-old baby, and the footage is beautiful but might be alarming to some.
In the footage, captured off Egypt and posted to Facebook by Red Sea Diving Safari, the woman is keeping a close watch on the baby and at times lets go of the infant, while underwater, as dolphins swim just a few feet away.
The boy is fairly adept at freediving, able to hold his breath until reaching the surface, and the dolphins in this are obviously accustomed to human visitors.
But aside from the dolphins, which are wild animals and therefore unpredictable, jellyfish can be seen throughout the video clip. Understandably, then, this footage would seem to inspire a wide range of comments.
However, unless Red Sea Diving Safari removed many of the negative comments, they’re almost unanimously positive.
"Beautiful little water baby and so lovely for them to experience dolphins swimming wild and free," wrote Faye Wilde. "A great message [from] the parents."
Added Petra Moxley: “Amazing and full of innate parenting. I applaud them! Too much crazy paranoia around children these days. The mother is experienced and clearly aware of her child at all times."
Among the handful of negative comments, among the 1,000-plus positive comments, were expressions of concern about jellyfish and inquiries about how the child could equalize his ears at that age.
Among the critics was Gilberto S. Epizona, who wrote: “Stupid parents… allowing a baby to swim with [jellyfishes]. It's dangerous. Besides, dolphins are unpredictable, they put the baby at risk."
Among the middle-of-the-road comments was this from Vinny Beardsley: "With jellyfish in the water not smart. Idk if they are the ones that sting but still the smartest of ideas. But it’s her call she is the mom I’m guessing so who are we to judge. I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with it. Teach them young to respect the planet and all the animals in it."
There were enough negative comments to draw this response from Red Sea Diving Safari:
“Just to clarify for anyone who is concerned, the decision to let this family and young child go was not undertaken lightly. The decision was passed from the diving centre, to village management then to senior management of RSDS who discussed the matter with the parents and established how experienced they were and how much time the child had spent in the sea previously.
“This, along with completely flat sea conditions, was what led to this trip going ahead. The safety of all our guests, no matter what age, is the most important thing. We will do whatever we can to allow anyone (and we’re not just talking about age here) to enjoy the Red Sea as long as it is safe to do so.”