Five dolphins strand in Dennis

spontaneous volunteers

DENNIS – Five dolphins stranded off Chapin Beach in Dennis Saturday. This follows an incident earlier in the day when ten dolphins were reportedly having difficulty off Sandy Neck. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) tweeted at 1:32 p.m. Saturday that two of the ten dolphins were released and the others were herded away from shore.

Sandy Neck and Chapin Beach form the western and eastern borders respectively of the mouth of Barnstable Harbor in Cape Cod Bay (see image below.) This area is characterized by expansive sand flats exposed at low tide.

1 barnstable harbor aerial imagery

At Chapin Beach, spontaneous volunteers kept the dolphins wet as a crew from the Town of Dennis Department of Natural Resources moved several of the dolphins to deeper water.

Crew from DNR

As the incident evolved, more and more people came out to the site on the sand flats, some 200 yards from shore. Then an individual arrived on scene and appeared to take command. He apparently asked the volunteers to disperse to reduce the stress on the dolphins.

spontaneous vols 2

man in charge

IFAW responded to the Dennis incident arriving shortly before 8 p.m. A radio transmission from the Dennis Police Department reported the scene cleared at 10:28 p.m. with five dolphins released.

IFAW arrives

The Chapin Beach drama played out with a spectacular sunset as the backdrop.

magnificent sunset

Story and photos by Kevin Morley/CWN, aerial imagery courtesy of Google Earth

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