British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue


2010-09-08 12:54:19

Stranded Dolphin in River Torridge, Devon

Stranded Dolphin in River Torridge, DevonArrived at the river and was met by Torridge coastguards, and Harbour master Steve, and medic Steve Payne who showed me where the believed porpoise was spotted. North Devon ambulance, Diane Lewis also arrived; we all were making suggestions, as to what may happen if and when it should start displaying itself in the river and where it may end up. When suddenly it showed, we were watching it through binoculars, when all of a sudden it started rolling around and beached itself on the bank; this is when we discovered it was a dolphin. We made a plan of action and headed to the river.

We managed to keep it afloat for a few hours, covering it with seaweed, etc. and monitoring the breathing, at this point we too were also sinking in the sand and mud so was hard to keep our selves a float. Thankfully the RNLI turned up for support too and helped.

Torridge vet Bill Slee arrived and checked her over, she wasn’t breathing very steady so we were monitoring her breathing for a few minutes. She had deteriated quite rapidly within minutes, Bill examined and said Euthanasia was probably the option if she didn’t improve as she was quite poorly. Despite all of our best efforts we were fighting with a very weak dolphin who didn’t want to give up. The vet then decided it was fairer to let her go.

Well done to all involved, and thank you to the coast guard team, RNLI, and Torridge harbour master, Torridge vet Bill Slee and family we couldn’t of done it without you. Big thank you to Steve Payne who couldn’t get on river as no clothing or boots but did a wonderful job, co-ordinating everyone and answering calls from the side.

Michelle Robinson
Assistant Coordinator for North Cornwall