SEA ISLE CITY, N.J. — The injured dolphin reached shore at the 45th Street beach Wednesday around 11:20 a.m. and Sea Isle City's beach patrol immediately went to work, until the Marine Mammal Stranding Center arrived.
The dolphin, believed to be a baby, was bleeding, and a small gash could be seen in its side. Beach Patrol Capt. Renny Steele said it looked as if the injury was possibly from an encounter with a boat.
The lifeguards spent about an hour keeping the dolphin wet and people away. Nick Horn and Lt. Mike McCormick draped wet towels around the dolphin and kept it in the shallow surf, while lifeguard Devin Boyle brought buckets of water. The dolphin's tail slapped the sand as a crowd gathered. It was obviously in distress.
The beach patrol was able to keep the dolphin alive until rescuers arrived, and the animal was taken to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, which had been alerted by the Beach Patrol, but also by a woman who was on the beach who texted the center's director, Bob Schoelkopf, a friend of hers. right away.
But the injuries were too serious, according to the center, and the dolphin did not survive. A necropsy was being performed Wednesday and no further details about the animal were available.
"It's a beautiful animal and it's such a shame," said Sea Isle City Beach Patrol Lt. Tim Quinn. "The guards were trying to help out of the kindness of their hearts."