Paul Burt did not like the dolphin's chances.
It was beached on a tidal river flat 50m from shore on the Tweed River in northern NSW when the Nine News reporter chanced upon the stranded mammal during a fishing trip yesterday morning.
"We thought he was dead to start with," said Burt, the fishing reporter for Nine News on the Gold Coast.
"But when he saw us it was like, 'The rescuers (are) coming to get me'. He was excited."
It is understood the dolphin had chased bait fish along the edge of the river and became stranded when the tide ran out quickly.
Burt filmed the rescue that followed.
"It's okay, it's okay," he is heard saying on the video as he tried to comfort the dolphin, which he said had "tears" in its eyes when he found it.
"I wouldn't leave you alone, buddy."
Burt and his fishing partner managed to drag the dolphin back to shallow waters, where it flicked its tail and swam off to safety.
"It was so surreal. You had to do something for him," Burt said.