A man noticed five young dolphins beached at Keem Beach on Achill Island. Soon, neighbors arrived to usher the dying dolphins to safety.
On Tuesday morning, an overcast and blustery day on County Mayo's Achill Island, local man Joey Henry spotted a very worrying sight - five young dolphins beached on the sands of Keem Bay, struggling in vain to get back into the waves.
Both Henry and another local man, Tommy English, sounded the alarm via social media, and very soon more people gathered on the beach to launch an improvised rescue operation.
According to Achill Island's tourism manager Sean Molloy, "despite the rough seas, David McNamara and Saoirse Kennedy led the successful rescue."
Dolphin Rescue on Achill Island
Watch this amazing dolphin rescue on Achill Island! Locals banded together to help 5 stranded dolphins.Posted by IrishCentral.com on Wednesday, November 22, 2017
He told IrishCentral that four of the five dolphins were saved. Tragically, the oldest dolphin perished on the beach, and the younger dolphins attempted to return to the beach several times to try to get him - heartbreaking.
According to Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), thousands of whales and dolphins die each year after becoming stranded on shores. The reasons they wind up in this dangerous situation vary, from a confused group leader to injury due to fishing equipment, to tidal changes, to SONAR disruption.
Well done to the Achill Islanders who stepped in to save these dolphins.