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72-Year-Old Helps Rescue 300-Pound Dolphin and Her Calf From Shallow Water


"She was very heavy and very strong..."

Inspired by a recent video of tourists rescuing 30 plus beached dolphins in Brazil, 72-year-old George Heheman put the techniques he saw in that video into action when he came upon a stranded dolphin himself.

According to Good Morning America, Heheman was taking a leisurely boat ride in Jacksonville, Fla., over the weekend with his wife and daughter, Kerry Ware, when they saw a dolphin stuck on a sandbar. Remembering in the Brazil rescue mission the beachgoers pulled the dolphins back to sea by their tails, Heheman began to do the same.

Watch the footage taken by Ware's 11-year-old son:

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GMA has more from the rescue team on how their efforts went down:

"She fought us at first, and then I don't know whether she realized what we were doing or not, but she quit," Heheman said.

He estimates that the creature weighed about 300 pounds and says they were only able to drag her because there were still four to five inches of water on the ground.

"She was very heavy and very strong," Ware said. "If it had been any later, we wouldn't have been able to pull her out on sand alone."

It soon became apparent why the dolphin may have been fighting Ware and Heheman beyond a natural panic. After freeing the dolphin, Ware's son spotted a dolphin calf not far away in a tidal creek. Ware and Heheman guided the calf toward its mother and the two swam away.

Of the experience, Ware said she was "beaming" and that she couldn't stop saying "I can't believe we just did that."

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