Just wow! Taken from the Guardian:
On screen, Dick Van Dyke has been rescued from untimely death by flying cars and magical nannies. Off screen, the veteran star of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins had to rely on the help of a pod of porpoises after apparently dozing off aboard his surfboard. “I’m not kidding,” he said afterwards.
Van Dyke’s ordeal began during an ill-fated trip to his local beach. “I woke up out of sight of land,” the 84-year-old actor told reporters. “I started paddling with the swells and I started seeing fins swimming around me and I thought ‘I’m dead!'”
Van Dyke was wrong. “They turned out to be porpoises,” he said. “And they pushed me all the way to shore.” The porpoises were unavailable for comment.
Van Dyke made his screen debut on the Phil Silvers Show before bagging his own TV sitcom in 1961. His film credits include Bye Bye Birdie, Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Dick Tracy, while his TV drama Diagnosis: Murder ran from 1993 to 2001. In recent years he has appeared on screen in Night at the Museum and its 2009 sequel.