Dolphins die in failed rescue attempt.
Three die of asphyxiation, one survives after locals use boat to cut channel in ice
EVERTON MCLEAN AND JAMES MCLEOD
"A failed attempt to rescue four dolphins trapped by ice in Seal Cove ended with the death of three of the animals Thursday evening.
Wayne Ledwell, head of the Whale Release and Strandings group, said he travelled to the community Thursday to assess the situation. However, when he arrived, he learned that some of the animals had already died after some locals tried to lead the mammals to freedom.
"When I got down there where the dolphins were, some local people had put out a boat and were trying to open up the area to where the dolphins were ... but White Bay is chock-blocked with ice," he said. "When they went close to the hole where the animals had been, the animals scattered under the ice. Three of them eventually died of asphyxiation and the stress of trying to get out."
The other animal has been led to another larger hole, where it remained Thursday evening. Seal Cove Mayor Winston May said that after days of hoping the Coast Guard would send an icebreaker, locals got impatient and decided to take matters into their own hands.
"It's been four days now, and it took this long for everything to get worked through the channels for DFO to approve for somebody to come in and try to clear them," May said. "It's time for somebody to take some action. ... People looked at it and said, 'We've got to try to do something.'"The mayor said people in the community have become attached to the dolphins and their deaths will hit the community hard.
"Everybody got attached," May said. "I think they're really disappointed that it took so long for DFO to act and try to do something." The coast guard - and by extension the Department of Fisheries and Oceans - was approached about sending an icebreaker to save the dolphins, but declined to do so. While Ledwell said the incident was unfortunate, he added there was little anyone could do to save the dolphins.
"The only hope for these animals was if the wind turned to the southwest, which it was hoped it would do over the next couple of days," he said. That could have opened up the ice and let the dolphins escape.
"The weather that brought them in there was the only thing that could have let them out," he said. While the stranded dolphins have drawn considerable media attention across Canada, Ledwell said it's not unusual for the animals to get stranded in Newfoundland harbours. "This is nature and it happens all the time in Newfoundland waters," he said.
In fact, about 300 died in several similar incidents in 1983. Meanwhile, Liberal MP Gerry Byrne, who is a former marine biologist, said earlier Thursday he felt the dolphins could have been rescued if a coast guard vessel had been deployed to the area. He said if an ice breaker was backed into the harbour, as is done when a fishing vessel is freed, it would have pushed ice away from the mammals. That would have opened a lane for them to escape, but lessened the risk of crushing them with ice.
He acknowledged, however, that many experts believed using an ice breaker would have ended up killing the animals. But he said the coast guard should have been on hand at "the 11th hour" when it became obvious the dolphins would otherwise die."
So there you have it... it is acknowledged by those who actually know anything about this situation, that very little could have been done to avert the eventual outcome, which happens by the way on a yearly basis in Newfoundland. However due largely to the unschooled individuals in the media making this into a "natural disaster" which in fact wasn't, even less-educated people around North America once more lost their fucking minds and started making preposterously stupid demands on those with far more pressing matters to tend to.
In other news that you certainly won't hear about from the media or their brainless followers, our Coast Guard rescued 22 Spanish sailors on Saturday, from the fishing trawler Monte Galineiro which sank some 400nm off the coast of Newfoundland. Now that is the purpose of our Coast Guard assets! That and keeping vital passenger ferry routes open off the North Coast of Newfoundland, freeing vessels trapped in ice, the list goes on...
How easily people are led by the media. How truly mindless they are... A herd of drooling, Pavlovian dogs, set to erupt into a frenzy of baying, snarling and gnashing of teeth, at the drop of one ill-worded news item...
Still, with this foolishness now out of the way, perhaps we can aspire to some sort of a "normal" Monday? Oh sure... There will still be those idiots who will continue to e-mail or phone in for the next few days, charging either DFO or the Coast Guard with the "murder" of these "poor, defenseless members of God's family...". I love these people with their make-believe and highly morally-selective deities. They'll be the first to tell you that 'God' created the dolphins, but that he had nothing to do with creating the ice, wind and ocean currents that led to their demise in a truly classic, Darwinian fashion... That was all the Coast Guard's doing, clearly... We're still contending with e-mails that came in at the end of last week, as every one must be answered. They came in from all over North American. From Canada yes, but also from Texas, California, Tennessee, Washingtom, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana, the list goes on...
Morons! People with no lives of their own and very little understanding of the world around them...
And what of these lads from Seal Cove? What kind of judgement would you render on them? Sure you could say that their attempted intervention actually caused the death of three of the dolphins, but hey... that was pretty much a foregone conclusion. I myself do not consider them to be brave, or noble for what they attempted to do. I will say that they were unwise and foolish to put their lives on the line, to say nothing about taking along a 16 year-old boy. I know a lot of self-proclaimed 'animal lovers' will roundly applaud their actions, but this is because they routinely allow their emotions to take over their limited powers of reasoning. I wonder what kind of slant they would try to put on it if one of these would-be rescuers had died? Oh, wait... I know. It would have been the Coast Guard's fault, right? Just one more case of people being absolved of any responsibility for their own actions...
Hard to believe (when you have some type of basic intelligence...) that people really are that stupid, isn't it?