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PHOTOS: Dolphins rescued after getting stuck in Cornish river

PHOTOS: Dolphins rescued after getting stuck in Cornish river

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 1:54pm 20th December 2018.

Photos: Debbie Bartram

Two dolphins have been rescued after getting lost in a Cornish river... 10 years after a major mass stranding.

The mammals appeared to get lost in the Fal Estuary - the same creek at Froe on the Roseland peninsula, where the large mass stranding of the same species occurred in 2008.

That event was the largest on record in the UK for this species and involved over 70 animals.

Luckily the incident last week was much smaller but still proved to be hazardous for the medics involved, due to the soft mud and slippery rocks and seaweed.

dolphin rescue fal estuary
Two dolphins have been rescued after getting into difficulty in shallow water in the Fal Estuary

British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) were called out at 11am on Wednesday 12th December to monitor the dolphins who were freely swimming and feeding.

A while later the animals got into difficulty - one became inactive and the other tried to strand itself.

Experts managed to help both the dolphins to safety.

They were then examined and later released.

dolphin rescue fal estuary
Experts rushed to help and managed to get both the dolphins to safety - before later releasing them back into the wild

"At around 3pm the behaviour of both animals suddenly changed, and they moved in to the shallow water close to shore.

"The smaller dolphin became virtually inactive in the water, whilst the other actively tried to stand itself some 50 metres away.

"The latter animal was initially helped back into knee-deep water, on the premise that it may just have made a navigational error, but to the dismay of the team it again stranded itself in the mud.

"It was decided that it would be necessary to bring the animal to shore to carry out a proper examination and this was done with the assistance of the kayaker.

"A similar exercise was then carried out to remove the second animal and an urgent request was sent out for assistance from other BDMLR Medics to attend. Both dolphins were initially moved to a safer exit route for the rescuers and, having satisfied the veterinary criteria, the two animals were carried out into the water as darkness fell, and successfully released.

"The pair were followed out to the main Percuil River by the RIB that had been assisting throughout and were last seen swimming towards the mouth of the Carrick Roads and have not been seen again in the days since."

Dan Jarvis, British Divers Marine Life Rescue

dolphin rescue fal estuary
It happened 10 years after a major mass dolphin stranding in the same Cornish river

"We were overjoyed to see that the two dolphins had managed to get back out at last after apparently becoming disoriented in the more enclosed river network of the Fal Estuary.

"I'd like to thank all of our team as well as the others who were supporting the rescue efforts for their determined efforts working in a remote location and in deep mud with very cold conditions for this great outcome."

Natalie Waddington, BDMLR Veterinary Support Coordinator

A couple of dead dolphins washed up the following day at Swanpool and Pentewan, but officials have confirmed they were not the animals which were rescued from the Fal Estuary.

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