There are many stories of drowning humans being rescued by Dolphins. Are these just tales or does this actually occur?
I found this in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education
The paper cites many evidence of dolphins helping drowning human (which can be found in the references a the end of the paper). However, the study also claims that animals can either do it by training or by instinct (depending on the breeds).
Other papers can be found supporting the evidence of dolphins having helped drowning humans through history:
An important side note should be expressed. Evidence of dolphins helping drowning humans does not mean that dolphins would save a human in case of drowning. There are also some evidences of them attacking human or letting them drown.
Here is a link to a book about Dolphins The dolphin in history papers delivered by Ashley Montagu and John C. Lilly at a symposium at the Clark Library, 13 October 1962. Published 1963 by William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California in Los Angeles .
A portion of the text read,
The same book is available here as well.
Hope this helps.