There are number of important characters in this great Sumerian poem. One uncanny parallel is the one between Utnapishtim and Noah. The Sumerian water God, Enki or Ea comes to Utnapishtim and tells him that there will be a huge flood. So, Utnapishtim has to abandon whatever he is doing and make a ship to save himself, his family, and other living beings such as animals and even plant life. The waters do come, and after twelve days of rain, his ship comes to rest. After this, he sends out several birds to see if the waters have subsided enough. He sends out a dove, and it returns. Then he sends out a swallow; it returns as well. Finally, he sends out a raven; it does not return. As a reward for his faithfulness, Enki makes him immortal.
The parallel to the biblical story of Noah is remarkable. In Genesis 7-10, we read of the Noah narrative. There, too, God approaches Noah and tells him about the impending flood on account of the evil of people. In fact, from Genesis 3, the evil of humanity has been growing. Noah listens to God and builds an ark. He saves his family and animals. The rains come down for 40 days and 40 nights. Afterwards Noah also sends a number of birds (dove, raven, and dove). Once he realizes that the waters have subsided, God makes a new covenant with him, and he begins humanity all over again.