A dolphin stranded at Amba river at Nagothane near Alibaug found its way out of the shallow waters as high tide set in on Wednesday night, even as the forest department roped in local fishermen to rescue it.
The 8-foot Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin was stuck in shallow waters of the river around 10 am Wednesday 40 km from sea.
A blue whale had died after being stranded at Alibaug for 10 hours last week. Determined to save the dolphin, forest department officials called in researchers and local fishermen. Locals reported that four dolphins were spotted in deeper water, which officials said could be a ‘rescue party’ as dolphins were known to respond to distress calls.
After confirming the dolphin at the spot at 7.30 pm, a stretcher to carry the 200-kg dolphin was made by 11pm to the tempo to transport it to Dharmantar creek, 20 km away. As the boats were lowered, high tide set in and the dolphins left the spot.
“For three hours, three boats with researchers searched downstream up to 5 km, guided by moonlight and torches, to ensure the dolphins go beyond the 5 km stretch into deeper waters,” said N Vasudevan, chief conservator of forests, mangrove cell. “The dolphin finding its own way was the best case scenario,” he added.