Volunteers slogged through the thick mudflats of Oyster Bay Tuesday morning in a valiant effort to save four stranded Pacific white-sided dolphins.
“It’s alright, you’re going to be okay,” said volunteer Colleen McClure as she gently stroked one of the dolphins and poured water over its body to keep the skin moist.
Another Oyster Bay neighbour, Bob Soltz was up before 7 a.m., watching the dolphins feeding in the bay…and then the tide went out.
Four of the dolphins became stuck on the mudflat, just north of Oyster Bay Shoreline Park. Soltz and McClure were the first on the scene and took out a bucket in order to keep the mammals hydrated.
By around 9 a.m., more volunteers had arrived to help and various agencies were contacted to assist in the rescue. The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre was contacted and they advised to not move the dolphins and to keep them wet with sea water.
However, with the tide still going out and high tide many hours away, the volunteers made the decision to move the dolphins back out to sea, supporting them with a large tarpaulin.
By 9:15 a.m., one of the dolphins was successfully moved back to the Strait of Georgia and efforts continued to save the other three. At 10:15 a.m., the last of the dolphins had been returned to the water.
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