Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Workers take the time to rescue baby dolphin

Engineers working on the £14m project at the Leven Viaduct called in a hovercraft when the dolphin was spotted struggling at low tide in the estuary.

It was caught and taken to deeper water where it swam away.

Network Rail's Keith Lumley said: "While safety of passengers and rail workers is our main priority, dolphins come pretty high up on the list."

'Path to freedom'

Mr Lumley, who was taking a group of visitors to the work site when the dolphin was spotted, said: "The poor creature had obviously lost her way and was floundering in the shallow water.

"She looked like a baby dolphin and there was no sign of her mother.

"The workers were concerned that the sparks from the work would frighten the dolphin, and work was suspended while the hovercraft set the dolphin on the path to freedom."

Work on the viaduct is on course to be completed on time and will allow the railway line between Grange-over-Sands and Barrow-in-Furness to reopen in mid-July, Network Rail said.

The line has been closed since the end of March while the work takes place.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"