Stranded baby dolphin rescued after alert

Published: May 9, 2006 | 4105th good news item since 2003

A baby dolphin, stranded in a rock pool near Mossel Bay, was successfully reunited with its pod thanks to a quick response from sea rescuers and volunteers.

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) coxswain Andre Fraser said a Gordon’s Bay couple on honeymoon in Mossel Bay alerted them at 11am yesterday after they had spotted the half-metre dolphin in the pool near the town’s Point Hotel.

He said staff from a nearby restaurant also called Marine and Coastal Management (MCM), and an NSRI volunteer rescue crew was dispatched, along with members of the Aquatic Protection Group (APG).

“The dolphin, alive and appearing well despite a slight injury to its beak, was loaded into a large bucket of water and on to our rescue craft.

We then launched a search and found a large pod of dolphins close inshore, very near the place the honeymoon couple saw the baby dolphin,” Fraser said.

He said the rescued animal was released into the sea and that it appeared to be content.

“When we arrived at the dolphin school it swam right up to the NSRI rescue craft,” he said.

Asked how the dolphin got into the pool, APG member Craig Viljoen said: “It probably got swept in by rough sea.

“To get it back to its school, everything was done very quickly and the NSRI did a fantastic job.”

MCM marine educator Arno Munro could not say what sex the dolphin was, but said judging from the animal’s size it was only a few days old.

“It seems it was swept over the rocks during the high tide.

“It was low tide when we found it and it could obviously not get out of the pool.

“The other dolphins were on the other side of the rocks.

“Amazingly, the dolphins in the school sensed (it being lowered into the water) and came rushing towards the baby.

“It was such a fantastic sight,” Munro said.

Published in Animals
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