Beached dolphin is rescued just in time

Posted by Ishani Chetty on 11 January 2019

A beached dolphin was discovered on King’s Beach in Port Elizabeth on Thursday morning and was successfully returned to the water by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).

A woman walking her dog on the beach alerted the NSRI Station 6 when she spotted the stranded mammal at 6.30am. The dolphin was kept wet and assessed in order to ensure that it was healthy enough to safely be released back into the sea by the Marine Animal Stranding Network and a local vet.

The NSRI duty crew helped to return the dolphin to its ocean home.

There are several factors that can lead to dolphins being beached, and scientists suspect that sometimes dolphins get trapped in the tide and are pushed forward. Other theories suggest that dolphins might strand themselves if they are injured or ill. It’s not clear why this dolphin got stranded.

NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander, Ian Gray explained how the dolphin was transported back into the ocean: ‘The female common dolphin was brought to our sea rescue station and loaded onto the sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft, accompanied by members of Bayworld.’

NSRI Port Elizabeth/ releasing the dolphin

Gray said that the release went smoothly, with the mammal happy to back in the ocean. ‘We transported the dolphin to 3 nautical miles South of Cape Recife and the dolphin was released into the sea and appeared to swim off strongly … the Marine Animal Stranding Network are cautiously optimistic that the dolphin will survive,’ he said.

The coastline will be monitored each day in case the dolphin beaches again. If it were not for the successful efforts of the Marine Animal Stranding Network and NSRI, the creature may have died due to starvation or dehydration.

NSRI Port Elizabeth/ Dolphin being released back into the ocean

Picture: NSRI/ Beached dolphin

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