At around 11am this morning, Thursday, February 6, the British Drivers Marine Life Rescue Team (BDMLR) received a call from a member of public at Redcar Beach, reporting a live porpoise or dolphin struggling in the surf approximately 20 feet off shore.
The report was soon followed up by another from the lifeguards reporting that it had stranded on the rocks but had managed to re-float itself.
A BDMLR statement said: “A short time later, the animal identified as a white-beaked dolphin, had restranded and was now on the beach in shallow water.
“An initial attempt to put the dolphin back in the water by the RNLI. was not successful so on the advice of BDMLR trained medics, the dolphin was carried out of the water while they waited for a vet to arrive to carry out an assessment.
“The dolphin measured approximately 1.5 metres long.so was likely to still be a maternally dependant calf, which makes the decision whether to return the calf to the water, dependant on other dolphin sightings in the area.
“The animal was in very poor body condition and there was blood found coming from its blowhole which could be an indication of respiratory health issues, which is why it is important to wear personal protective equipment such as face masks whenever in close contact to dolphins and other cetaceans.
“Taking into account the health issues with the dolphin, and even if it was likely to be reunited with an adult if re-floated successfully, the chances of survival would be poor.
“In this instance the vet made the decision on welfare grounds to euthanase the animal to prevent any further suffering.
“Arrangements are being made by the Cetacean Stranding Investigation Programme and Newcastle University to collect the body for examination and further investigation.
“Thank you to the BDMLR trained Marine Mammal Medics, the RNLI and Saltburn Vets for their assistance.”
If you see an injured, stranded or distressed marine mammal call the BDMLR hotline on 01825 765546.