Lone dolphin stranding, Cornwall

On Friday 16 February, British Divers Marine Life Rescue was alerted to a lone common dolphin circling in the shallows in an inlet at Place, near Portscatho, in Cornwall. Several Medics were sent to assess the situation, however after around an hour and a half the risk of stranding increased significantly and a larger response team was dispatched. The dolphin soon stranded and fell on to its side, submerging the blowhole, to which Medics brought it ashore for a health assessment and to begin providing first aid.

The dolphin was in moderate condition with no visible injuries and so was deemed suitable for a trial refloat. However, it was not possible to refloat it safely in the inlet due to the nature of the geography, substrate and tide. It was deemed most likely the dolphin had become disorientated in this location and therefore stranded. Luckily a local resident had his boat tender moored nearby and was happy to take the dolphin out to deeper water. The dolphin was then transfered to the boat, with Medics and a vet onboard, and taken out to the mouth of the Percuil River, close to open sea; the most ideal site for release where the chance of returning and restranding was lower.

When released, she was observed circling in the middle of the channel until she was lost from sight. The area will be monitored over the weekend for resightings or restrandings, but it is hoped that she will recover successfully and continue back out to sea. In the meantime BDMLR would like to thank the volunteer team, local residents and members of the public for all their efforts and support throughout this incident.