Even though orcas are dangerous marine animals, a group of locals saved the life of an 11-foot orca “killer whale” that had become stranded. The big sea mammals were found on a beach on the remote Scottish island of Orkney. But luckily, a group of people saw the animal in trouble and ran to help it.
Getting the animal back into the water took less than an hour. The young orca was saved by people in the area and a rescue team from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR). But the rescue turned out to be more exciting than expected because the first reports said it was a dolphin, not a huge whale, stuck on the beach.
“Our team was shocked to find out that this animal was an orca since it was first said to be a dolphin,” Dan Jarvis, 35, from the BDMLR, told MailOnline. “There aren’t many orcas that come to the coasts of the UK, so it’s very rare for a live one to get stuck.”
People think this is the first time an orca has ever been saved on British soil. Even though they were caught off guard, the rescue team was able to help the 3–4-year-old orca get back into the water safely. “It was an absolute honor to be able to train BDMLR medics on the remote island,” said Jarvis. “They were able to help the animal quickly and professionally, and they were thrilled that it was able to get back on its feet.”
The people who came to help first tried to turn the sea creature so it could swim, and their efforts paid off after almost an hour. Then, “a specialist dolphin stretcher” came to help make sure the confused animals could get to deeper water.
“Once it was determined that the orca was healthy and strong enough to be refloated, a special dolphin stretcher was put under it to support it as the water rose around it,” said Jarvis. “…until it was deep enough to swim freely. Once it could swim freely, it quickly disappeared to sea.”