In a scuffle with Team Rocket, Ash and friends are thrown from the ship bearing them to the Whirl Islands. As powerful whirlpools draw them toward impending doom, a mysterious form under the sea shifts the powerful undertow, drawing them to safety. Shortly thereafter, a Corsola comes skipping over the sea's surface and guides the children back to a ship wherein awaits their old friend, Professor Elm. They ride the ship to a bustling harbor in the first of the Whirl Islands. There they learn of an upcoming competition in which Water Pokémon trainers will vie for the title of Whirl Island champion.