Dolphin in distress gets away safely

Talitha WolfeAlbany Advertiser

A dolphin-dappled dawn was set to be the idyllic picture for a local photographer until the photo shoot turned into a rescue mission for the marooned mammal.

Vicki Lyn Photography’s Vicki Clark was thrilled when she spotted a bottlenose dolphin swimming in the shallows of Princess Royal Harbour at about 5am on Saturday morning.

Ms Clark quickly alerted authorities after she realised the subject of her sunrise shoot was stranded at low tide.

“(At about 5am) I ended up down the Frenchman Bay Road end of the harbour, I pulled in and I saw the dolphin there and I thought ‘that’s a great addition to my sunrise photo’,” she said.

“I stood there for the next half an hour taking photos until I realised the dolphin was not going anywhere.

“(It was) in a 60m stretch just swimming up and down ... the tide moving out.”

The dolphin was stranded in Princess Royal Harbour.
Camera IconThe dolphin was stranded in Princess Royal Harbour. Credit: Picture: Vicki Clark/Vicki Lyn Photography, Vicki Clark/Vicki Lyn

Department of Parks and Wildlife fauna conservation officer Peter Collins was first on the scene before co-ordinating the rescue of the 190kg marine mammal.

“She was in about 40cm of water, just enough to cover her body, only her dorsal fin was visible,” he said.

“We had a very quick turnover of tide and she got to a point where (she didn’t have) enough water to get back over the sand bar and into the (harbour).”

Mr Collins said after they retrieved the 2.4m dolphin, the mammal was transported to the Murray Road boat ramp where she was released into King George Sound.

“We put her back in the water for a minute or two, she showed good signs that she was ready to go so we let her to go,” he said.

“From the first point of observation until just after 9am we had her back in the water and swimming safely away.”

Mr Collins said bottlenose dolphins were commonly found in King George Sound.

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