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Rescuers keep watchful eye on 50-strong dolphin pod in danger of stranding

An earlier shot of dolphins at Chanonry Point on the Black Isle.
An earlier shot of dolphins at Chanonry Point on the Black Isle.

Rescuers are keeping a watchful eye this evening on a 50-strong dolphin pod in danger of stranding.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue are concerned about the pod which is believed to have already partly-stranded at Nigg Bay.

Charity volunteer Cath Bain, area co-ordinator for Moray, said: “Essentially what has happened is that the incoming tide has refloated the animals so they are now swimming and have made their way as far as Cromarty.

“They were right close in to the harbour so we are just monitoring just now. They are free swimming so at the moment its really just sit with your fingers crossed and hope that they make their way back out into the Moray Firth.

“They seem to be swimming quite actively, however I do believe there is one which has died.”

‘Logistic nightmare’

She added: “These animals are not as far as I am aware not Mora Firth Bottlenose dolphins. These are a pelagic pod, a deep water pod, and they have come from further off shore for whatever reason, following fish who knows.

“They were not fully fully stranded as in absolutely on dry land but they were not able to swim as there was no enough water around them but they were lucky in that when that happened it was pretty much low tide.”

“We are just watching and hoping that they will make their way out. I am very hopeful that we have been extremely lucky because from the latest updates on numbers we’re looking at 50-plus dolphins.

“That’s just a logistical nightmare.”

Asked if she believed it was possible to save 50 dolphins she said: “Absolutely. It’s a heck of a lot of hard work but we could do it. Tarpaulins, life them, carry them to the water. But they’re massive so you’re probably talking about eight people to life one.

“We had quite a lot of volunteers turn out today, we have stood them all down but obviously if they strand we call them all back out.”

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