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

Rossland Public Library changes delivery service model due to COVID-19 pandemic

The library physically shut down on March 17, but online services always available.

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Outrage over illegal dumping at Nakusp Landfill

Online photo shows garbage bags, cardboard boxes and bottles thrown around landfill container

FortisBC pausing power disconnections and late-fees amid COVID-19 crisis

Company says they plan to work with customers affected by COVID-19 on a “one on one” basis

Don’t avoid doctor’s office if you need help, say Kootenay Boundary physicians

There are alternatives to coming in physically to offices, docs say

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

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

‘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

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

Most Read