A young bottlenose dolphin, entangled in netting off the Southern Santa Barbara County coast, has been saved by a four person team from the Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute.
“We were really lucky to have everything come together and have a successful outcome,” said Dave Beezer with the Institute who was with the group on board a rescue boat.
Sightings began last Thursday off Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara. Saturday a paddle boarder saw the struggling dolphin off Stearns Wharf.
Sunday it was seen just past Summerland heading towards Carpinteria.
That’s when the rescue team came together and headed into the area.
They found it but rescue attempts failed when adult dolphins intervened and pushed it away.
But a special pole with a hook was used to snag the netting without hurting the dolphin. No one went into the water.
“Luckily when we got it up into the boat and down to the deck it was calm. We were able to cut it loose and cut the debris off of it,” said Beezer.
The rescue effort on the vessel took about three and a half minutes.
“We were able to disentangle it that quickly and it should be just fine as long as we cut it free which we did. (The dolphin) should heal up just fine. The dolphin will be OK ,” he said.
The team and the institute work with federal officials when they have a rescue, by calling it in and getting a special permit number for their work.
The group is a non-profit organization that responds to calls for dolphins, porpoises and whales in need both onshore and offshore in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. They are also called for sea and sea lions that are stranded on local beaches.
For more information on the organization or their upcoming fundraiser go to: http://cimwi.org/