Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) wildlife staff are full of praise for a local Year 12 student and two friends who worked to save a stranded dolphin on Tuesday night at Woolamai Beach, Phillip Island.
DELWP Incident Controller Charlie Franken said: "We received a call via our Emergency Duty Officer just after 5pm on Tuesday regarding a live one and a half metre Common Dolphin that had been stranded at Woolamai Beach with the outgoing tide - a wide stretch of low rocks was between the stranded dolphin and the water."
"When I first spoke to the students – Imogen Langford, Bianca Neal and Sierra Knocker - they had already applied the correct basic first aid by placing a towel over the animal and pouring water over it. This is a critical first response action to prevent dolphins from overheating and blistering, which occurs even in cool weather."
"Whilst making contact with a local veterinarian and experts at Melbourne Zoo, I kept in constant contact with the three on site rescuers, who gave me clear indications as to their location and were able to maturely and efficiently apply further first aid, including leaving the dolphin's blow hole uncovered and continuously pouring water over its body."
"Jenny Hibble from Newhaven Vet Clinic arrived quickly on site and was able to assess a large blister on the dolphin as being of no major concern . She also confirmed the animal was otherwise in good condition."
"By this time other locals, including Andy Neal, Pete Chaston and a local cyclist named Simon, had gathered on the beach to help and together, they carried the dolphin to the water to keep it cool and assist recovery."
"Everyone on the beach worked cooperatively and calmly – they were even able to send me images and video of the dolphin so I could make broad assessments of its condition and what actions may be required."
"An attempt was made to release the dolphin, and it was initially not looking positive as the dolphin swam to one side and around in circles, so it was recaptured and held upright."
"However, just after 7pm, it made a remarkable recovery and swam strongly out to sea and out of sight."
"I have no doubt the actions of the initial three girls on the beach, as well as others that joined the rescue effort, saved this animal's life."
"This is a great example of how we were all able to work together to achieve a fantastic result - the actions by those on the beach should be highly commended. "
To report whale or dolphin strandings or entanglements, call the Whale and Dolphin Hotline on 1300 136 017.
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