A dolphin that was washed ashore in Jeffreys Bay was released back into the ocean on Saturday after members of the public alerted the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI). Rescue workers are "cautiously optimistic" that the animal will survive.
Ernie Schmidt, NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty controller, said 37 NSRI crew members were sent to the scene after being alerted by members of the public that a dolphin had washed ashore at Lower Point, Jeffreys Bay.
The dolphin had washed on to rocks and had minor cuts on its fins, thought to be injuries sustained when it washed ashore. Schmidt said two young fishermen and members of the public had tried to get the dolphin back into the sea without success.
The Marine Animal Stranding Network was alerted and a vet was sent to the scene, said Schmidt.
"The vet deemed the dolphin to be in good health despite the minor cuts and, assisted by members of the public, NSRI loaded the dolphin onto a bakkie," he said. The dolphin was then transported to Dolphin Beach, and loaded onto the NSRI sea rescue craft Project Group Rescuer. It was released 1.5 kilometres out to sea.
Our rescue volunteers around the coast have been called out to assist a beached dolphin, 2 scuba divers and a yacht...Click on link below to read the full rescue stories. https://t.co/xSi0szq5eT... /dolphin-beached-jeffreys-bay-2-s... /-- NSRI (@NSRI) January 26, 2019
"The dolphin swam around the sea rescue craft a few times before raising its head out the water and then disappeared in the sea." Schmidt said the NSRI crew are "cautiously optimistic" that the dolphin has survived.
"NSRI commend the members of the public who assisted on the scene," he said.
It is the second stranded dolphin to be rescued in Jeffreys Bay this year. On January 3, a 2.5-metre long striped dolphin was found in shallow waters at Kabeljous Beach at Jeffreys Bay, the Cape Argus reported.
NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said at the time that the animal was released back into the sea and rescue workers were confident that it would survive. It was not clear what caused the dolphin to venture to close to the beach, he reportedly said.