Common dolphins live strand in Cloghane, Co. Kerry30th Mar 2017
Four Common dolphins were stranded in Cloghane estuary at 11am on March 30th. Locals had noticed the four dolphins foraging as the tide was going out and it is quite common for individuals to be caught out by the quickly receeding tide in the area and so the alert was raised. Sure enough about 30 minutes later they had become stranded. They were protected from the sun and the cutting wind on the day with seaweed and towels.
A team was assembled; which consisted of two trained individuals by the IWDG (Nick Masset and Louise Overy), family members, the local community centre and local farmers were recruited to come and help. It was decided due to the number of individuals and the distance to be travelled in order to reach a substantial volume of water, that the quickest and hopefully most successful method would be to transport them via Road to the local pier (Brandon). Two individuals were carried in the back of a jeep and two in a trailer with support and successfully reunited and guided back out to deeper water. The four individuals grouped closely together and skirted the coastline, regaining their orientation, before heading out to sea. Fingers crossed, this was a succesful refloat as the dolphins have not been reported stranded in the area since.
Photo credit: Nick Massett
The estuary at Cloghane is one of the most frequent areas in the country for live strandings (along with the Mullet Peninsula in Co. Mayo) with eight recorded live strandings there since 2010. Seven of these were Common dolphins while one was a rather unusual live stranding of a Sowerby's beaked whale in July 2015.
IWDG Strandings Officer