What is a stranding?
Every year, some dolphins and whales die when they get stuck on beaches. This is called a stranding. They are stranded on the beach.
Why does it happen?
No one really knows for sure why it happens. There are probably many different reasons. Some dolphins may be old or ill and too tired to swim any more. Some die at sea and are washed up by a high tide. The biggest puzzle is why healthy dolphins sometimes become stranded. One idea is that they use the Earth’s magnetic lines of force to help them navigate and these keep changing. Another is that the noise and pollution in the sea is making them confused. Sometimes they seem to be trying to come and rescue members of their group who have already stranded.
Dolphin (or Whale) Stranding. What to do.
Call the Coastguard or the Police straight away. They will get more help.
DO NOT try to move it yourself. Dolphins are very heavy.
DO NOT try to drag it by the tail or flippers. You will injure or kill it.
Keep the dolphin cool and wet. Cover it in wet cloths soaked in sea water.
DO NOT cover the blowhole. Dolphins breathe air, keep cloths and water away.
Pour water carefully over the dolphin but keep well away from the blowhole.
DO NOT let people or dogs bother the dolphin. Keep everyone quiet and calm.
KEEP AWAY from the tail. Dolphins are very powerful and you might be hurt.
Imagine that you are on holiday by the sea with your family or friends. One day, walking along the beach you see something lying in the sand, just out of the water. As you get closer, you see that it’s a dolphin!
At first you think that it is dead. Then its tail moves and you hear the sudden blast of its breath. Its alive!
Everyone else begins to panic but you know what to do. You have to take charge!
Write the story of what happens next.
More ideas! Try writing a story from the dolphin’s point of view from when it begins to realise that it is stuck on the beach. Perhaps you could design something to help rescue a stranded dolphin. The body would need good support, it could weigh up to 500 kg. and the flippers are easily damaged.