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The image is striking: dozens of dolphins are lying on the beach of Portes-en-Ré (Charente Maritime). It is 3:30 p.m. when walkers discover this incredible scene and decide to take the plunge to save the dolphins. The mayor of Portes-en-Ré came to lend them a hand. “They were very heavy, between 150 and 180 kilos, between 20 and 22 dolphins which had stranded near the boats”, explains Alain Pochon, mayor of Portes-en-Ré.
Trapped by the currents
Jeremy Velge is a municipal police officer, he did not hesitate to take the plunge: “It was very cold, the water was between 4 and 8 degrees, the volunteers did not hesitate to brave the cold and go into the water to save as much as possible”. The rescue operation lasts several hours, firefighters, police and volunteers mobilize but three dolphins including a mother and her cub remain trapped. Due to the currents, “the animals can remain trapped in the area, while they have water, do not find the exit and the ebb tide doing, they find themselves stranded”, explains Willy Dabin, engineer specializing in observatory strandings Pelagis in La Rochelle.
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