VIDEO: A coastal community came together to save a dolphin
AFTER several hours of hard work and a lot of heavy lifting, a group of animal lovers and scientists have successfully rescued a stranded bottlenose dolphin at South Arm.
WATCH THE RESCUE BELOW
Local photographer Jo Malcomson, from Blackpaw Photography, captured the drama on film. When she arrived there were already 8-10 people on the ground, digging a trench to keep the dolphin cool.
"(It was) entirely exhilarating, very dramatic of course, there were a few moments where the dolphin, because they had such a beautiful deep hole - it was like the dolphin was in a puddle and was only slightly touching the sand underneath," she said.
"Every so often it would think it could get out of (the trench), it would swoosh its tail and a huge splash and whoever was unlucky enough to be standing behind got totally covered," she laughed.
Many hands made light work as rescuers responded to a social media call-out on Whale Spotting Tasmania on Facebook.
"It was one of those days where it was intermittent sun and howling, nasty wind with rain thumping into you," Ms Malcomson said.
Those who weren't able to help with the heavy lifting or wetting the dolphin down brought coffees and lollies to support the hardworking rescuers.
DPIPWE arrived around noon and the rescuers helped hoist the dolphin into a sling and carried it back up to a waiting dinghy, ready for release.
Dr Kris Carlyon, wildlife biologist in the marine conservation at DPIPWE said the public had done a great job maintaining the animal, and that he had all the signs of being very healthy and able to be released.
"These stranded whales and dolphins can be prone to overheating so the weather was very helpful in this instance," he said.
The spot, on the inside of the neck at South Arm is known for marine mammal strandings
"We figure it was foraging close to shore overnight and it simply got caught out by the tide going out," Mr Carlyon said.
The DPIPWE crew took the dolphin overland to the South Arm boat ramp where they launched, and released the dolphin several hundred metres off shore to cheers from onlookers and rescuers.
Originally published as WATCH: Coastal community saves stranded dolphin