NBC’s Kerry Sanders and Fox 4 reporter Tony Russell found themselves completing the unexpected assignment of saving dolphins that had washed ashore on Marco Island, along the Gulf Coast.
Sanders, who teamed up with some Good Samaritans, saved not one, but two dolphins within less than an hour time frame on Monday.
The first of the mammals was just a baby and local resident had found him washed all the way up onto the sidewalk.
“He had picked it up from a sidewalk and brought it to the beach. That’s where we saw him. He had wrapped it in a blanket and then we stumbled upon him,” Sanders told Today of the stranger who first found the stranded baby animal.
The a veteran correspondent, who has covered more than 60 hurricanes and more than a dozen dolphin stories, said they had to make several attempts to guide the baby dolphin back out to sea.
“Then, further up we came across another dolphin. It may have been the mother, we may never know that, but it was big. And it took a lot of people together to get that dolphin back into the water. It was heavy, [and] not easy,” Sanders told Today during a live interview.
Cape Coral’s Fox 4 journalist Russell and photographer Dennis Meister assisted in helping the second dolphin, with the rescue mission shared live on Fox.
Though there was a brief struggle, the animal eventually managed to swim away.
Hurricane Irma has caused colossal storm surges across Florida, but it has also deprived other areas of water. Two manatees in the aptly named Manatee County, Florida, got caught in the extremely low tide caused by the storm’s forces on Sunday. Good Samaritans, along with several other residents in the area, immediately went to work saving the animals.
Meanwhile, on Friday, six dolphins were airlifted to safety in Cuba as the country was battered by Irma.