Coast guard called to rescue dolphin found in helpless predicament

A man on a sailboat watched a dolphin jump into the dinghy attached to his boat and called in the Coast Guard for an unusual rescue mission.

A man in a sailboat in the Back Bay of Fort Myers, Florida, happened to witness an unusual sight in the middle of the night and it was fortunate he did. A 7-foot dolphin jumped into the dinghy that was attached to his sailboat.

The man called the Coast Guard Station at Fort Myers Beach around 1 a.m. Thursday.

"The Coast Guard coordinated with a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission marine biologist who determined the dolphin should be placed back into the water as quickly as possible to ensure the dolphin’s survival," the Coast Guard said in a statement Thursday.

Coast Guard crewmembers aboard the 29-foot Response Boat-Small II responded to the scene where Seaman Chris Epperson videotaped the rescue mission, as seen above.

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One crewmember pulled the dolphin's tail as the other aboard the dinghy lifted and pushed. Eventually the dolphin happily splashed back into the water.

"I am proud of the close coordination between our crews and the professionals at FWC," said Chief Warrant Officer Robert Gruschow, commanding officer of Station Fort Myers Beach, according to WFLA in Tampa Bay. "Through this coordination we were able to save another life."

It was not clear if the man was anchored or was underway when the dolphin made his misguided jump, or what circumstances prompted him to see it during the night. But the dolphin was happy he did.

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