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‘Ditzy the Dolphin’ stranded a second time


REPEAT RESCUE Local man Jim Staunton was part of a second group of people who had to help a young dolphin back out to sea.

Áine Ryan

WE’VE decided to christen her ‘Ditzy the Dolphin’. It is partly because she must have been dizzy and disorientated by the time she finally took off to the open sea after being stranded a second time in Clew Bay recently. In last week’s edition of The Mayo News we reported how a visitor to Westport, Fermanagh native Darren McNulty and his daughter Emily spotted the meandering mammal stuck in kelp in the estuary near the entrance to Westport House and with the help of local boatman Arthur Gill freed her.
Clearly fascinated by the beauty of the Clew Bay coastline, however, the nosy bottlenose decided to check out the old coastguard houses at Pigeon Point and got stranded in shallow waters again. Luckily she was spotted by a number of locals and as dusk fell. Local councillor Johnno O’Malley and his neighbours, Tommy Staunton, Richard Gill and Brian Kelly went on a mission of mercy to Pigeon Point.
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday (Monday), Johnno explained: “People had been watching the dolphin all day swimming up and down and had even brought their children to have a look. We realised she was getting distressed and around 9.45pm myself, Tommy and Jim Staunton, Brian Kelly and Richard Gill came on his tractor with a cow mat and ropes. She was in about two feet of water and we managed to lift her on to the transport box and tie her tail, because that’s where her power is. Tommy and I stood with her on the box and we drove out to the back of Pigeon Point where the water is deeper and we let her off,” Cllr O’Malley said.
“Well, as soon as she heard the water, she came to life again and was gone 50 metres out the bay within ten seconds,” he added.
Asked if he had considered some of his legendary singing to help calm her, the well-known country and western singer said he had been ready to serenade her with a sea shanty if necessary.