"Yuan Ch'i Beng of Hang Jou Province made a vow in his youth that he would always liberate the living. He was particularly fond of liberating mussels, clams, roe, and the like, for it didn't take much money to ransom these small sea creatures and so in one outing he could set free many lives. He also encouraged others to do likewise. In the year 1680, while at sea, the ship he was on ran into some reefs and capsized. Strangely enough, however, water did not seep into the vessel at all. Floating on its side, the ship finally reached safety, where it was discovered that several tens of thousands of little fishes, clams and mussels had congregated beneath the ship, keeping it afloat so that the water could not enter and sink it. Yuan understood that these must be the sea creatures that he had set free that they had come to repay the debt of kindness and save his life in turn."
The Power of Compassion Stories That Open the Heart, Heal the Soul, and Change the World
Bhikshuni Heng Ming and Upasika Kuo Tsai Round's edit of a Buddhist teaching story about having compassion for small sea creatures (in a book by Pamela Brown).