Dolphin mother and calf live Strand in Rosslare, Co. Wexford1st Mar 2004 We had a live stranding this afternoon March 1st 2004 on Rosslare Strand - a common dolphin mother and calf pair got caught out in the tide and marooned. [Pictures below!]
The Lifeboat, coastguard and NPWS scrambled and I arrived on scene at 5.15pm to find two very distressed animals.
While my initial plan was to ring a vet and get a full diagnosis, the rapid approach of darkness, coupled with the fact that these are a pelagic species which had been stranded for some hours led to a decision to refloat the animals asap.
Luckily, Chris Wilson (NPWS) had a tarpaulin which he had brought back from Australia and it did the job nicely. We used the lifeboat's body bag for the calf and carried them in a van for a short distance to deeper water.
The lucky lifeboat crew were in dry suits, so they held onto the calf for ten minutes, while I kept the mother afloat, as I was sure she was either going to roll over and drown or just restrand back up on the beach.
We decided to bring the calf up to the mother and once she heard the reassuring calls from her calf, she started to revive and thrust against me so I let her off.....
Oh boy!... the pair of them swam off towards open sea with the lifeboat keeping a watching brief. They surfaced frequently, and we could see they were safe from the sandbanks that had marooned them earlier.
This is is what makes all this work so rewarding...I only hope that I dont get a call that they have beached somewhere else tomorrow ...it's far too cold at this time of year to go swimming, even with dolphins in your arms!!
The IWDG would like to thank Mac, Chris Wilson (NPWS), the Coastguard and the RNLI for their rapid response to this stranding and congratulate them on the successful refloating. It is the IWDG's policy to support a community based marine mammal stranding network around the Irish coast.
For More Details: www.iwdg.ie/strandings.asp