Sunday, May 27, 2007

Common dolphin is free following rescue!

A young Common Dolphin that washed up exhausted at Glencairn beach later took off "like a bullet" from a NSRI boat off Simon's Town harbour at the end of a successful joint rescue mission.
The dolphin, believed to be a young adult and measuring 1.9 metres washed ashore at the beach early yesterday afternoon.

Staff of the Table Mountain National Park's marine unit patrolling in the area saw people looking at the dolphin and two of their colleagues, Riaan Boshoff and Dimitri Beukes, donned wetsuits and responded.

Their first attempt to get the dolphin back into the sea was unsuccessful.

By then UCT scientists living in Glencairn had seen the incident from their home above the beach and alerted a research colleague, marine biologist and whale and dolphin expert Ken Findlay, who lives further up the valley.

He also rushed to the beach in his wetsuit, and the three men guided the dolphin, which was bleeding lightly, back into the sea.

But the big waves and rough sea pushed it back among the rocks, so it was carried to the nearby tidal pool where it swam for about 45 minutes regaining its strength.

Meanwhile, the NSRI's Station 10 at Simon's Town was alerted.

Two NSRI crew from Kommetjie who happened to be visiting, Ian Klopper and Peter Veldhuizen, went to help transport the dolphin from the pool to the harbour while the Simon's Town station's 5.5m surf rescue boat Eddie Boumont was prepared.

The animal was then taken out beyond the harbour wall in the boat and released in deep water. Boshoff said the dolphin had seemed "much happier" in the deep water.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"