Three friends managed to rescue a stranded young dolphin on a Co. Meath shoreline last weekend.
Cormac Canning (18) from Duleek and brothers Mylo (17) and Cormac Newton (23) from Bellewstown were out walking the beach at Laytown last Friday evening when they spotted the mammal who was unable to get back into deep water.
“It was actually Mylo’s younger cousin Finbar who spotted the dolphin first. It was just at the edge of the shore,” said Cormac.
“It must have been washed in by the tide and got stuck.
“When we came across it, the tide was going back out and the waves were now barely reaching it.
“It was just lying on its side, it wasn’t making any noise and didn’t put up a fight when we lifted it and put it into deeper water. It let us help it.
“It was only about 3ft in length but it was still heavy enough that it needed all three of us to get it to safety.”
It wasn’t all plain sailing back to the open water though and the three friends stayed on the beach until the dolphin was back in comfortable waters.
“It was very blustery, the sea was choppy the waves were just bringing him back into the shoreline so we stayed watching until we knew it was safe.
“It was amazing to see a dolphin. It was grey in colour and a lighter grey on its belly. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we came across it and were able to help it back to safety,” he said.
Brendan Price of the Irish Seal Sanctuary said: “Dolphins and porpoises are relatively rare on the East Coast but sightings are terribly important to us for records.
A spokesperson for the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group said: “About 250 dolphins are stranded each year on Irish Coasts and about 30 of these are alive.”