Live stranded White-sided dolphin refloated at Raughley, Co Sligo

14th Mar 2005 This morning (14 March) a dolphin, live stranded at Lissadell, Co Sligo was reported to the IWDG. After a number of attempts to refloat it at Lissadell, the animal was transported to nearby Raughley Pier and apparently successfully refloated.


The dolphin was found by local clam farmers and reported to Don Cotton of Sligo RTC. Dave McDonough the National Parks and Wildlife Service Conservation Ranger was soon at the site and identified it as a white-sided dolphin. The dolphin had been re-floated when Dave arrived but each time the animal swam in circles before re-stranding.

Following consultation by mobile phone with the IWDG , the animal was apparently in good nutritive state and, as it is a pelagic species, was considered to have a good chance of survival.

The local farmers and Dave transported the dolphin to nearby Raughley pier, which provided deeper water. After refloating, local Regional vet Michael Casey arrived to monitor the dolphin progress. It apparently seemed to gain strength and was last seen swimming out to sea.

The IWDG commends the local clam farmers for their swift and unselfish action who despite the very cold conditions were in the water for over an hour trying to assist the dolphin.

White-sided dolphins are frequently live stranded in Ireland, especially off the northwest in Counties Mayo and Sligo.

Simon Berrow