Northshore Harbormasters Association News

Dolphin Stranded

dolph 2.jpg

Dolphin stranded under


SALEM – Concerned neighbors dialed 911. An off-duty firefighter donned a survival suit. And har­bormasters from two cities raced into action.  But in the end, nothing could save a starving, white-sided dol­phin stranded under the Beverly Salem Bridge yesterday morning.  "There’s really not much we could do for him, so we put him to sleep," said James Rice, a senior biologist from the New England Aquarium who made an emer­gency visit to Salem.
White-sided dolphins are not un­usual in this area, but they are known to travel in large groups, known as pods, and typically stay out to sea. So just before 8 a.m., when a solitary dolphin was spot­ted alone near shallow water, it was not a good sign.  "He may have come in as a last ditch effort … maybe to find some­thing to eat or find other dolphins of his species," Rice said.
Police said several neighbors from Ames and Hubon streets, near the bridge, called for help af­ter they spotted the dolphin stranded in the mud on the Salem side of the bridge.
Off-duty Beverly firefighter Bri­an Tamilio, who owns a nearby business, donned a bright yellow survival suit and jumped into the shallow water under the bridge.
Meanwhile, local harbormas­ters Peter Gifford from Salem and Dan McPherson from Beverly re­sponded by boat. Off-duty Beverly fire Capt. James Maggiacomo, Tamilio’s buddy, also paddled around the dolphin in a wooden skiff.
After gently coaxing the dolphin back into the water, Tamilio held the l00-pound mammal for more than two hours in the 38-degree water. At 9:30 a.m., the Aquarium’s Marine Rescue Unit arrived in a white animal ambulance. Shortly after, Rice said, they decided to eu­thanize the dolphin. He was a year old.
Tamilio said he was disappointed but glad the animal didn’t have to suffer any longer.  "They put him out of his mis­ery," he said "I just tried to keep him comfortable until the profes­sionals came."  Rice said the dolphin was ”not healthy" and was emaciated. An autopsy will be conducted to see how the dolphin died.  The cause may have been a respiratory infection or stomach blockage.  Loneliness may also have been a factor, Rice said.  Like humans, he said, white­-sided dolphins are social animals that depend on others in their species for survival.


Posted on March 18th, 2005 by Administrator in North Shore