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File photo of a Common Dolphin. Anup Shah via Flickr/Creative Commons

Fishermen rescue massive family of 70 dolphins beached in west Kerry

The incident has been described as ‘highly unusual’ by a local expert.

A GROUP OF Kerry fishermen have been praised for rescuing as many as 70 dolphins from a beach yesterday.

The beaching, described as ‘highly unusual’, was spotted when three lobster pot fishermen were heading out to sea at 7am in Smerwick Harbour.

The fishermen, along with director of Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium Kevin Flannery, worked for hours to move the animals to safety.

“We removed the calves first,” Flannery told, “There were about 15 of them; I’ve never seen so many in a pod before.

“My figuring was that the calves that were fully ashore had gotten stuck there while chasing mackerel. Their screeching attracted the older dolphins, who were caught in shallow water, who in turn got stuck as well.

Using the fishermens’ boats, we transported the younger dolphins out to sea, and then encouraged and herded the older ones out of the harbour.

He said that the fishermen deserve “enormous praise”, as all three had given up a day’s work to carry out the rescue.

Flannery added that beachings like this, although rare, have occurred in other countries.

In other dolphin news this morning, there are renewed warnings over a certain “well-travelled” bottlenose.

Clet is believed to have travelled from France to Irish shores, and poses a “significant risk to the health and safety of swimmers“.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) report that he has moved on from his West Cork home and is now hanging around off Kerry – potentially leading to rivalry with Fungie.

“We received a report of a bottlenose dolphin from Ashley Edmunds, who observed one as their tour boat returned to Portmagee after a trip out to the Skelligs in Co Kerry,” the group said.

He was identified as the infamous Clet from his distinctive dorsal fin.

clet050614-jpg Duuun dun. Dun dun dun.

“He is best left alone and there have been a few unsavoury incidents in recents months involving swimmers,” IWDG said.

We’ll keep you posted on how this situation evolves and whether there is any interaction between “Clet” and Dingle’s more famous Fungie.

As many as five people were previously injured by another dolphin named locally as ‘Dusty’.

Read: Cut up your six pack rings warns IWDG after dolphin death in Cork >

More: There’s plenty of Humpbacks out there, but this year’s Whale Watch day was a bit of a washout… >

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