Hurricane Irma strands manatees on beach -- until Floridians come to the rescue

Katrina Barker
September 12, 2017

Residents in the Sarasota area posted photos on social media Sunday showing a pair of manatees that had been beached when the oncoming Hurricane Irma caused the tide to recede in advance of its arrival in the area.

Two Manatee County deputies and officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission came to the bay to help the rescue effort, the Herald-Tribune reported. "My friends and I couldn't move these massive animals ourselves, and we called every service we could think of, but no one answered", said Sechler.

As a result, two manatees found themselves stranded on now-dry land just north of Sarasota.

Clavijo and the others rolled the large marine mammals up in a tarp and carried them a 100 yards to a place where they could enter the water once more, Clavijo explained in his Facebook post about the rescue.

A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter
A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter

Clavijo pronounced it: "a pretty cool experience".

He later told local news channel Fox 13 that the sea cows swam off after they pulled them all the way to the water.

The viral Facebook post has more than 96,000 likes and 68,000 shares.

Manatees are protected under federal and Florida law, which states that "it is unlawful for any person, at any time, intentionally or negligently, to annoy, molest, harass or disturb any manatee". "We couldn't just let those manatees die out there". It was an "absolutely amazing" rescue and "shows what people can do when they come together", says Faradini-Campos.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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