Stranded dolphin helped back into the sea
A joint rescue mission had a fairy tale ending for a young dolphin who got into difficulty at Durban's Umhlanga beach on Sunday.
Photographer and videographer Eugene Ciaglia said that the dolphin was spotted in difficulty in front of the Pearls Development by members of the Umhlanga Lifesaving Club on Sunday morning.
"The lifesavers swam out to the dolphin which was approximately 25 metres from the shore and in a very rocky area to assist it‚ as it appeared to be very disorientated. The dolphin was eventually moved across to Granny’s Pool as it was much easier to assist in calmer water. "
Ciaglia‚ who captured the rescue on video and took photographs‚ said a hastily assembled team‚ which included Kelly de Klerk from Ushaka Marine World‚ Quentin Power from National Sea Rescue Institute and Kit Case who runs a boat charter company‚ ensured that the dolphin was given a chance at surviving.
"A very big thanks to the following members of the Umhlanga Lifesaving Club who assisted in holding the Dolphin in the water for some 2 - 3hrs in very windy and cold conditions."
Power said their Ballito team were activated to assist with the stranded dolphin by the KZN Marine Animal Stranding Network who had checked the sea creature and found it was healthy.
He said NSRI members accompanied Case's boat out to sea and‚ together with the lifeguards and network members‚ assisted the dolphin to float and ensure conditions were all clear to be released among a pod of dolphins.
"Once released‚ the dolphin appeared to take a few moments to acclimatise following the boat ride‚ but soon appeared to swim away strongly towards a pod."