Saturday, April 22, 2006

Another dolphin rescue

Volunteers rescued a dolphin that was stranded on Barley Point Island in the Navesink River in Rumson Thursday morning.

A resident called police just before 8:20 a.m. to tell them about the animal stuck in the mud during low tide on the island, which is mostly home to bungalows and summer houses, Sgt. Robert Boyer said.

Police set up a staging area at the municipal boat ramp behind borough hall, and called the local animal control officer, conservation officers and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine. The U.S. Coast Guard stopped boat traffic from entering the area, and police shut down the ramp.

Trained volunteers who work with the stranding center arrived about an hour later, paddled out to the dolphin in kayaks and freed the animal.

Then they continued to paddle along, escorting the dolphin to make sure it found its way to the main channel of the Navesink. Coast Guard members planned to keep an eye on the animal to make sure it continued to head toward the ocean.

Boyer said seals periodically sun themselves on the beach but he has never before seen a dolphin in those waters.

The volunteers told police the dolphin appeared to be older. Boyer said it likely found its way to Barley Point after swimming around the tip of Sandy Hook, into the bay, and down to the Shrewsbury River, turning into the Navesink, then heading to the back channels and the island.
"It's quite a journey," he said, estimating that the trip is about 10 miles and would take about a half-hour by boat.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"