Surfers carry beached dolphin family back to ocean in delicate rescue mission

Mel Buttigieg

A family of beached dolphins has been rescued by a trio of surfers who carried the distressed mammals back to the shore off the Irish coast.

A family of dolphins became beached when they swam too close to shore at low tide. Source: Fergus Sweeney

Heartwarming footage has emerged of the group undertaking a rescue mission on two adults and two juveniles, crying and gasping for air after they became stranded on Cartron beach, Blacksod Bay, off the northwestern Irish coast.

It is believed the dolphins spent the day catching herring in the bay before the two juveniles swam too close to shore and became beached at low tide.

Two surfers hoist a dolphin with a beach towel and carry it back to the ocean. Source: Fergus Sweeney

The adult dolphins would have come to help their young, only to get stranded by the dropping tide themselves, according to One Green Planet.

The unbelievable video shows the pod of dolphins crying while stranded at low tide on the shore, unable to manoeuvre themselves back into the water.

One by one the surfers carry the mammals to safety. Source: Fergus Sweeney

Two male surfers in black wetsuits can been hoisting the sea creatures up and into the water on beach towels, with some intense labour.

“Get some water on him,” one of the rescuers tells his friend as they splash one dolphin.


The men are shortly joined by a female surfer to help roll a second dolphin onto a towel, before carefully dragging it across the sand over a towel.

A dolphin is stuck in the sand while the surfers pull the other sea creatures to safety. Source: Fergus Sweeney

“He’s really heavy,” the woman can be heard saying, as the trio gently pulls the creature to the beach.

A caption accompanying the video explains the dolphins were taken to deeper water but could still not swim freely.

Luckily the surfers were soon joined by the local Royal National Lifeboat Institution - a charity that saves lives at sea - to help move the dolphins further out to sea.

Dolphin beachings are common in the Erris area (a barony in County Mayo in Ireland), with about four strandings on average each year, ranging from four to 13 dolphins at a time, according to One Green Planet.

Related videos: