A pair of common dolphins that became stranded in the mud of The Creeks Thursday morning were eventually freed into the deeper waters of Nantucket Harbor by members of the Marine Mammal Alliance Nantucket (MMAN).
But the rescue effort may not yet be complete, as the dolphins were still stressed and acting erratically. As of Thursday night, they had not yet made it out of the harbor.
A third common dolphin that was stranded on Coatue was also released into deeper water on Thursday.
The three dolphins were first spotted swimming together in Polpis Harbor on Wednesday and later stranded in the reeds there. But Jake Martin came upon them and managed to pull them out, and reported the incident to MMAN.
Around 10 a.m. Thursday morning, two of the dolphins were spotted by a group of people, including Harvey Young, who saw them stranded in The Creeks from the cottage in the Land Bank’s Creeks Preserve Park off Milestone Road. The MMAN team, which was conducting a workshop class for kids on seals in Sconset, rushed to the scene.
The MMAN team mobilized along the shore and on kayaks. Several members of the volunteer group were able to lift the dolphins out of the mud on tarps and guided them to the Ottison property to await high tide. Around 3 p.m., the dolphins were able to be guided into the deeper waters of Nantucket Harbor, and were spotted along Washington Street.
The volunteers were in touch with NOAA throughout the day to help coordinate its rescue efforts. It's not yet clear what caused the dolphins to strand.
The MMAN team is hopeful the dolphins do not strand again, but will be on alert Friday morning to respond if necessary.