Sunday 21 December 2014

Surfer rescues washed-up dolphin on Achill Island beach

Published 22/04/2014 | 20:24

Colin Honeyman swimming with the dolphin out to sea.

On Easter Sunday morning Achill Island Coast Guard was tasked to a dolphin stranding on Keam beach.

When the team came on scene they discovered that one of the dolphins had already died but the other dolphin was still alive.

With the tide going out quickly, something had to be done soon.

Members of the public had attempted to refloat the dolphins but without wetsuits they were unable to get the dolphins out to sea.

“These dolphins were small - about six foot in length and they were only young,” Colin Honeyman, Achill Coast Guard’s officer in charge said.

Colin, a surfer, entered the water with the dolphin and swam with him out to sea where a local fisherman was on standby with his boat.

When Colin got the dolphin out into the deeper water the dolphin swam away to safety.

Colin said: “You’d see a lot of dolphins out surfing in Achill, but these two must have gotten separated from their mother.”

“The two young ones got washed up with the waves. One unfortunately died because we couldn’t get it back out quick enough.”

“As soon as I got him into deep water he got a new lease of life and he swam on. I think that might have something to do with the dolphin’s sonar abilities because he was weak before that.”

“He seemed very weak on the beach and I didn’t think he was going to make it. But as soon as he was back in his own environment he was OK.”

“It’s unusual – you don’t get to swim out to sea when you’re making a save.”

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