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

Just Posted

North Island College brings marine training to Port Alberni

Marine Training instructor Captain Harry Johnston joins NIC team

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

Tofino and Ucluelet distilleries step up with hand sanitizer

Mass supply delivered to emergency operation centres in Tofino, Ucluelet, Bamfield and Port Alberni.

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

Most Read