PHOTOS: Residents rescue dolphins stranded near Powell River

About 20 people helped rescued 16 dolphins that were chased into shallow water by transient orcas, Monday near Powell River. Susan MacKay photo

About 20 people rescued a group of stranded dolphins that had been herded by a pod of transient orcas, Monday near Powell River.

Rescuers believe the orcas had pushed the 16 Pacific white-sided dolphins into an old fishing trap close to shore.

Susan MacKay — founder of Whales and Dolphins BC, a publication of the Wild Ocean Whale Society — praised the efforts of community members who saved the dolphins with tarps and blankets.

“They jumped in right away. The majority were from the Tla’amin Nation,” MacKay said. “By the time I found out they were getting stuck, and I communicated with DFO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada), there were only a few left still stuck in that pool. It (rescue) went very quickly.”

She credits the rescuers who remained with the dolphins to ensure their safety after they had carried them into deeper water.

“They all got out, and they all grouped up and continued south, which was the opposite direction that the orca went in,” MacKay said. “Everyone was absolutely thrilled they managed to swim away OK, and they weren’t stranded for any horrific length of time.”

Being meat eaters, MacKay said transient orcas will sneak up on dolphins, and then disperse them.

“They tend to stick with one group,” she said. “We’ve seen it happen where they’ve herded them into bays on a regular basis. Sometimes it becomes a mass slaughter, if the dolphins are totally stuck. These dolphins were looking for any method to hide. They were able to get shallower than the orca, but the orca were back and forth. They were really quite relentless. Just waiting for them.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Courtenay theatre gets support for livestream ‘hybrid’ shows this year

Island Coastal Economic Trust funds help Sid Williams Theatre with infrastructure, training

Military police training in Comox Valley

Latest quarterly session for training is July 6-8

Solar, seismic work among Comox Valley school district requests

District also wants to get a new roof on top of Mark R. Isfeld Secondary

Proposed affordable housing, commercial space for Palace Place in downtown Courtenay

Plans are in place to proceed with a 39-unit, four-story mixed-use building

Comox Valley school board wants consultation before ferry cuts

Province provides some funding for discretionary sailings over summer

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

MP asks Minister of Transport for review of safe crew levels on new ferries

The new ferries were approved to run with smaller crew sizes, raising safety concerns

Most Read