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

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Volunteer Cowichan encouraging anyone in need to reach out

Programs available for seniors but also others in the community who need support

MacGregor addresses federal response to COVID-19

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP spoke to constituents via Facebook

Getting the runaround on reporting quarantine violation

Non-actions speak louder than words during COVID-19 pandemic

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Long list of events disrupted by COVID-19 around the community

Challenging situation affecting fundraisers, entertainment, sports and more

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

Independent investigation praises RCMP actions in Vancouver Island suicide attempt

Man hurt in incident that took place near Nanoose Bay in September of 2019

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

Most Read