Beached Dolphins saved through Determination and Team Effort

namib times 1-09 -2015

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The special relationship between humans and dolphins was in the spotlight on Friday morning, after the news that several beached dolphins had been spotted by tour guides at around 07:00, outside Walvis Bay,  on the way to the salt pans.

They were stuck in the shallow water about 200 meters offshore.  People immediately notified the Namibia Dolphin Project  (NDP) team of the incident. Before long many Walvis Bay residents were on the scene, waiting to assist the group to get the seven bottlenose dolphins back into deeper waters.The salvage operation was driven by Barry McGovern and his Dolphin Project Team. The dolphins were clearly stressed.


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Helpers kept the dolphins wet while they waited for each of the dolphins to get pulled on a sail and dragged with eight men on each side to get them back in the water.

McGovern told the namib times, “The main reason why something like this normally happens is because the babies take a risk. They clearly wanted to get fish and the adults went after them to protect them, and they got stranded.”

When namib times arrived, we had to go into the muddy waters to reach them where they were being pulled through ditches to get them back safely into the water.

An interesting fact is that research on Dolphins has shown that they are excellent caretakers and will typically lend a fin when needed. They spend every possible moment with their calves for years.

They have the support of others in the pod to assist them through the parenting process. McGovern confirmed that it was most probable that the five adults went after the two babies because of their deeply caring nature.

The salvage operation took about two hours.

Those involved were clearly deeply touched by the interaction between the distressed dolphins and the humans who were trying to help them – and everybody was clearly elated when all seven were back where they belonged.


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“This was a huge effort from all the locals who came to help and we just want to thank everyone for giving a hand.

A special mention to the guys from Atlantic Refrigeration, Anchors Restaurant, Sandwich Harbour 4×4 and Ocean Adventures  – and of course our NDP interns,” McGovern concluded.

The coastal community is reminded of the special Namibian Strandings Network’s number – If you spot a whale, dolphin or turtle on the beach, call 081 687 6461… if no one answers, send and SMS with the date, time, what you spotted, where exactly,  and whether it is dead or alive, and if you can or could assist.

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