Three women braved the ice-cold English Channel to rescue a dolphin that had became trapped in a rock gulley.
They noticed the aquatic mammal was trapped in the sea after initially stopping to look at a flock of ‘unusual looking’ hovering seagulls near the rocks at Rock-A-Nore Beach in East Sussex.
The trio spent over 20 minutes wrestling with the current, worrying that they wouldn’t be able to free the dolphin.
Eventually, however, they were able to turn the creature and release it, determined not to let the dolphin suffer.
Three women braved the ice-cold sea to rescue a dolphin that had became trapped in a rock gulley
The trio spent over 20 minutes wrestling with the current near the rocks at Rock-A-Nore Beach in East Sussex, worrying that they wouldn’t be able to free the dolphin
Amy Walker, Carrie Warrior and Sarah Gale had been out on the beach for their Christmas walk on December 29 when they spotted a fox and hovering seagulls.
After spotting the distressed animal – which they originally believed to be a shark – they sprang in to action.
Ms Walker, 42, threw her coat to Ms Gale and dashed into the water, with Ms Warrior quickly following.
She and Ms Warrior spent 20 minutes in the ice-cold water trying to free the distressed dolphin trapped in a rock gulley.
Ms Walker, a TV producer, said: ‘It was pretty tough going because the sea was rough and we couldn’t get a sure footing on the seabed because of the rocks.
‘The tide was coming in so we were getting knocked over and having to pick each other up, as well as trying not to stress the dolphin even more.
‘I was telling her she would be ok.
‘We were at the tail end because we weren’t sure if she would bite us – she was really heavy.’
Eventually, however, they were able to turn the creature and release it, determined not to let the dolphin suffer
The women were getting ‘battered’ by choppy waves during the rescue and, due to the conditions, struggled to see the rocks underneath
It took more than 20 minutes and two women manoeuvring the dolphin before they were able to turn it and finally release it
The women were getting ‘battered’ by choppy waves during the rescue and, due to the conditions, struggled to see the rocks underneath.
‘Several times I thought we weren’t going to be able to free her but how can you walk away and watch such a creature suffer? She was a beauty,’ Ms Warrior, a 57-year-old artist, recalled.
‘It took more than twenty minutes of both of us manoeuvring the dolphin before we were able to turn it and finally release it.’
Ms Walker added: ‘Seeing her swim off into the distance was a really beautiful moment. We hope she’ll be okay.’
The trio – who all play for local rounders team, Hastings Rounders – shared how at first they were unsure what sea creature needed their help.
‘We all thought it was a shark to begin with,’ Ms Warrior recalled.
‘By the way it was thrashing, we knew it was stuck in a rock gulley. I thought how can we pull its tail with teeth the other end?!’
Ms Gale, a retail assistant, added: ‘When we got closer we could see it wasn’t a shark but a dolphin or maybe a porpoise.
‘Amy had read something about not approaching beached animals and she was trying to google it but we couldn’t get signal but we could all tell that time was running out for it.
‘So then Amy just said ‘Hold my coat!’, and before I knew it Amy and Carrie were in the water.’
The women confirmed that after it was freed, the dolphin safely swam off in the direction of Bexhill, west of Hastings
Ms Gale, 62, revealed that Ms Warrior had been speaking about plucking up the courage to go for a dip before they leaped in to action.
‘We hadn’t played rounders for two weeks so we were keen to get out for a walk’ said Sarah, who snapped the photos of her friends in the water.
‘The walk was really beautiful, and Carrie had said she wished she had the courage to go for a swim about half an hour before they both ended up in the water!
‘This was definitely a win for Hastings Rounders!’
Ms Warrior – a regular sea swimmer – added: ‘It was definitely a two-woman job, but then we are always a team at Hastings Rounders!’
She also warned others to stay out of the water at this time of year and seek professional advice before approaching a wild animal.
Additionally, Ms Warrior confirmed that after it was freed, the dolphin safely swam off in the direction of Bexhill, west of Hastings.