Dick Van Dyke: I Was Saved by Porpoises Poppins star says school saved him when he found himself adrift on surfboard By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Nov 11, 2010 5:25 AM CST 0 comments Comments "I'm not kidding," Van Dyke said after recounting the porpoise rescue. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles) (Newser) – Dick van Dyke says he owes his life to a helpful school of porpoises. The Mary Poppins and Diagnosis: Murder star recently told an interviewer that he fell asleep on a surfboard and woke up adrift at sea and out of sight of land, the Telegraph reports. "I started paddling with the swells and I started seeing fins swimming around me and I thought, 'I'm dead!'" he said. "They turned out to be porpoises and they pushed me all the way to shore. I'm not kidding." The 84-year-old actor, a keen longboarder in his younger days, didn't say when the rescue happened.