Community rallies to rescue manatees stranded by Irma

East County's Nina Toby James and Noah Klepek gather their belongings before entering an emergency shelter at Carlos E. Haile Middle School

A pair of manatees were almost victims of the deadly Hurricane Irma after the storm left them stranded on a dried-out ocean floor. The Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety posted a picture on its Facebook page of an injured pelican rescued by officers Sunday afternoon. Michael Sechler of Sarasota, Florida, saw these stranded creatures beached where formerly there was water and took action to save them.

Rescuers trudged through several inches of mud to load the hefty manatees onto tarps and dragged them to deeper water, witnesses said.

Two Manatee County deputies and officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission came to the bay to help the rescue effort, the Herald-Tribune reported.

A full-grown manatee can weigh in the neighborhood of 1,000 pounds, so moving one is no small task.

Winds carried by Irma caused waters in that area to recede completely, leaving the manatee and another one beached on a muddy patch of grass surrounded by shallow puddles. "We called every service we could think of, but no one answered", one member of the group writes on Facebook.

A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter
A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter

Faradini-Campos says he and his friends posted photos of the manatees online and the story "just blew up".

Clavijo's post has gotten more than 30,000 shares and received an outpouring of praise for the rescue mission.

Normally a safe place for manatees to float, several sea cows were left stranded before they knew what was happening.

"It shows what people can do when they come together".




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