I read this and loved the story. Personally, I think the whale was doing exactly that, thanking them for thier efforts. Very cool indeed.
When she was free, she swam in what seemed like joyous circles, then returned to each and every diver, and nudged them, she was thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.”