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Tuesday 20 August 2019

'It let us help - it didn't put up a fight', say men who rescued beached dolphin

The three young men carry the mammal back into the water
The three young men carry the mammal back into the water
The dolphin as it was found

Three friends managed to rescue a stranded young dolphin from a Co Meath shoreline.

Cormac Canning (18), from Duleek, and brothers Mylo (17) and Cormac Newton (23), from Bellewstown, were out walking the beach at Laytown last Friday evening when they spotted the mammal, which was unable to get back into deep water.

Stuck

"It was actually Mylo's younger cousin Finbar who spotted the dolphin first. It was just at the edge of the shore," said Cormac.

"It must have been washed in by the tide and got stuck.

"When we came across it, the tide was going back out and the waves were now barely reaching it.

"It was just lying on its side, it wasn't making any noise and didn't put up a fight when we lifted it and put it into deeper water.

"It let us help it. It was only about three feet in length but it was still heavy enough that it needed all three of us to get it to safety."

It was not all plain sailing, and the three rescuers stayed until the dolphin was back in deeper waters.

"It was very blustery, the sea was choppy, the waves were just bringing him back into the shoreline, so we stayed watching until we knew it was safe," Cormac said.

"It was amazing to see a dolphin. It was grey in colour and a lighter grey on its belly.

"It was definitely one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that we came across it and were able to help it back to safety."

Brendan Price, of the Irish Seal Sanctuary, said: "Dolphins and porpoises are relatively rare on the east coast, but sightings are terribly important for records."

A spokesperson for the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group said: "About 250 dolphins are stranded each year on Irish coasts and about 30 of these are found alive."

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