Lone dolphin rescued near Stephenville Crossing

Frank
Frank Gale
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Members of the Barachois Search and Rescue Team are seen with their air boat that was utilized in rescuing dolphins during the past two days.

Barry Nash is proud of his rescue team, which worked in darkness Tuesday night to rescue yet another dolphin.

The team coordinator believes this was the last of a group of nine dolphins spotted under the Gut Bridge in Stephenville Crossing on Monday, with seven of them rescued in Rocky Point in Rothesay Bay that evening. An eighth dolphin died.

“This one had to be a loner,” Nash said of the one rescued inside Main Gut.

Main Gut is a large expanse of water fed by Harry’s River and Southwest Brook, which flows into Rothesay Bay. The water inside Main Gut itself rises and falls with the tides.

Nash said this latest dolphin was spotted by the Alexander and Bennett families, who live in the Brookside Drive area of the town. He said the families had seen the dolphin earlier and were attending to it, trying to keep it moistened, before calling the rescue team.

Luckily the location was not too far from where the Barachois Search and Rescue Team has its operating base, and the team was able to launch its air boat quickly.

Nash said it took a bit of manoeuvering and ended up being an excellent nighttime exercise for the team, which hadn’t used the air boat after dark since receiving it last October.

With five members directly involved in the rescue, the team loaded the dolphin aboard the air boat and dropped it off under the Gut Bridge, where it swam off the short distance towards Rothesay Bay.

“Hopefully this is the last one,” he said of the rescue.

Eight other white-nosed dolphins were helped to deeper water by beach-goers Sunday afternoon, but it isn’t known if they were the same group as the Monday evening and Tuesday night rescues.

Nash is not sure why the dolphins end up stranded, but said they seem to get caught up on sandbars when the tide drops. He was surprised it was so far inside Main Gut, which has a combination of fresh and salt water.

Geographic location: Rothesay Bay, Stephenville Crossing, Rocky Point Southwest Brook Brookside Drive

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