We once went to Ballyvooley, Just East of Stradbally one of our favourite spots (Close to Dungarvan) and saw what we thought was a log washed up on the beach – the fact that there were a dozen gulls around it made me wonder. I went over and realised it was a dolphin – alive but only just. I took of my shoes, socks and jeans and spent 40 mins trying to lift the poor beast into the water and at the same time keep it wet. The tide was receding very fast and I had a heck of a time scooping away sand and stones and part-lifting part-dragging the rather heavy dead-weight into the 40cm high waves. Eventually I did and then had to hold the dolphin (bottle-nosed) head into the surf to keep it upright as it kept rolling over. after another 20mins (Iwas cold, wet and turning blue) s/he started moving the tail in a more coordinated fashion and slipped out of my arms. The waves beat the animal back and it could only swim parallel to the shore – meaning I had to run alongside to the rocks and re-enter the water to push it around and into ever deeper water. After another 5 or 6 attempts it managed to get past the breaking waves and gave a little jump.
A short time later s/he gave a half-leap and then moments later 3 great full out-of-the-water leaps that seemed to show us ..all is well. I’ve tears in my eyes writing this now 4 years after the event but I was High-as-a-kite for dayz afterwards. What a thrill!! what a feeling.!!
Ballyvooley N 52º07\’ 39\” -W 07º 26\’ 30\ County Waterford, Ireland.