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Friday 23 February 2018

Coast Guard on hand as Fungi Beag rescue goes swimmingly

Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

IT was all in a day's work for the Irish Coast Guard when they got an unusual call-out yesterday.

A stranded baby porpoise was spotted washed up on Dublin's Portmarnock beach by a passer-by shortly after 3pm.

A coast guard team from Howth station sped by boat and SUV to the scene of the action, and the decision was made to return the baby mammal to the sea.

"The decision was made to bring the baby mammal who was beached back to the sea in the hope it would successfully swim away," a spokesman for Howth Coast Guard said.

Having carefully placed the mammal on board the boat, the team brought it a kilometre away from the coastline.

The porpoise – now named 'Fungi Beag' – was placed in the water and, after some initial hesitation, it suddenly disappeared from view, seeking solace and safety beyond the horizon.

Porpoises are very similar to dolphins but have shorter beaks and are seen in the Irish Sea with the same swimming patterns as dolphins.

The team from Howth worked with members of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, who had initially raised the alarm.

Irish Independent

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