A grieving Irish mother has described how the actions of a pod of dolphins helped her come to terms with the tragic death of her son in an accident in Australia.
Donegal man Shaun McBride drowned in the Western Australian town of Dampier a fortnight ago when scaffolding collapsed into the water beneath him.
Shaun, in his late 20s, was dismantling scaffolding on the wharf on East Intercourse Island. He had only emigrated to Australia six weeks earlier.
Police divers discovered his body surrounded by a pod of dolphins after the accident with one dolphin attempting to use his nose to push the body to the surface.
Speaking at Shaun’s funeral in Burtonport on Sunday, his mother Sylvia told mourners that she had drawn comfort after learning that the pod of dolphins had kept a vigil on his body.
The Irish Times reports that Sylvia said the remarkably affectionate scene which rescuers witnessed had a special poignancy as her son had a huge attachment to dolphins as a young child.
Perth-based priest Fr Joe Walsh told the family about the dolphins’ remarkable vigil.
Fr Walsh said: “We’ve learnt that a few hours after the accident when divers went to retrieve his body, they saw a big pod of dolphins swimming around him.
“And there was one dolphin that was using its nose to try to lift the body up to the surface.
“But it wasn’t able to do so because the body was caught up in the scaffolding.”