Pirate FM News

PHOTOS: An amazing dolphin rescue off Cornwall

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:50am 23rd February 2018. (Updated at 9:57am 23rd February 2018)

These photos chart the incredible rescue of a dolphin that ended up stranded off the Cornish coast.

Rescuers, including British Divers Marine Life Rescue, rushed to the scene near Falmouth on Thursday.

The poor creature got into difficulty after it swam into the shallows near Mylor Bridge.

Crews managed to keep the male common dolphin wet with a towel before releasing it back into the sea at Gylly beach.

The pictures show what an amazing job these teams do - we do love a happy ending!

Scroll down to see the rescue in photos and read what to do if you find a stranded marine animal.

1) Crews keep the stranded dolphin wet before lifting it to safety: Dan Jarvis, British Divers Marine Life Rescue

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2) The dolphin is lifted onto a sheet to be carried to safety: Ben Jones Wildlife Photography

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3) The dolphin is kept wet on its sheet before being lifted to safety: Dan Jarvis, British Divers Marine Life Rescue

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4) The dolphin is carried towards safety: Dan Jarvis, British Divers Marine Life Rescue

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5) The moment the dolphin is refloated in the water off Falmouth: Hollie Brokenshire

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If you find a live whale, dolphin or porpoise:

A whale, dolphin or porpoise stranded on the beach is obviously not a usual phenomenon. These animals do not beach themselves under normal circumstances, and they will require assistance. Please do not return them to the sea as they may need a period of recovery before they are fit enough to swim strongly.

BDMLR hotline: 01825 765546 (office hours) or 07787 433412 (out of hours)
RSPCA hotline (England & Wales): 0300 1234 999
SSPCA hotline (Scotland): 03000 999 999

You will receive further advice over the phone, but important things you can do to help are:

  • Provide essential first aid.
  • Support the animal in an upright position and dig trenches under the pectoral fins.
  • Cover the animal with wet sheets or towels (even seaweed) and keep it moist by spraying or dousing with water.
  • Do NOT cover, or let any water pass down the blowhole (nostril), sited on top of the animal's head. This will cause the animal great distress and could even kill it.
  • Every movement around a stranded animal should be quiet, calm and gentle. Excessive noise and disturbance will only stress it further.
  • Estimate the length of the animal and look for any distinguishing feature that may give clues as to the species you are dealing with.
  • Look for any signs of injury and count the number of breaths (opening of the blowhole) that occur over a minute - this can give important clues as to how stressed the animal is.
  • Take great care when handling a dolphin, porpoise or whale; keep away from the tail, as it can inflict serious injuries - this is particularly the case with whales and it is advisable to leave handling larger whales until experienced help has arrived. Avoid the animal’s breath, as it may carry some potentially nasty bacteria.
  • Provide information: Give the hotline an exact location for the animal - this can save valuable and perhaps critical time. If you have a mobile, give the number to the hotlin
  • Give an accurate description of the animal, including its breathing rate, and whether it is in the surf, on rocks or sand, in the shade or in the full glare of the su
  • Information on weather conditions and sea state also can be helpfu
  • The hotline should be informed of any attempts already made to push the animal back into the sea
  • Maintain control
  • Keep all contact, noise and disturbance to a minimum
  • Under no circumstances, release the animal into the sea before the rescue team has arrived. It is fine to support a smaller dolphin or porpoise in the water, as long as the blowhole is kept above the water at all times, and as long as it is carried to the water carefully, e.g. in a tarpaulin (do NOT drag it or lift it by its fins or tail)
  • However, actually releasing the animal before it has received an assessment and first aid from experienced personnel can do more harm than good.

You can read more advice from British Divers Marine Life Rescue here.

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