Manatees left high and dry by Irma rescued

Randolph Lopez
September 12, 2017

Two manatees were rescued by Good Samaritans on Sunday after Hurricane Irma sucked the water out of a Florida bay and caused them to become stranded on dry land.

Several people posted photos of the animals that were stuck on the shore Sunday during an usually low tide created just before the hurricane made its way up the Florida coast and slammed into the Sarasota region.

Michael Sechler wrote of how he had to call in for help after seeing the creatures as they were too heavy to move back out to deeper water.

He said he and "a couple of Manatee's finest" went into knee-deep mud, rolled the manatees onto a tarp and dragged them 100 yards back into the water.

Two deputies from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office arrived and helped the citizens get the manatees to safety.

A full-grown manatee can weigh in the neighborhood of 1,000 pounds, so moving one is no small task.

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

A friend of Mr Sechler, Tony Faradini-Campos, said that he and the group spotted two "blobs" lying on the sand which would usually be submerged with water.

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

Clavijo's post has gotten more than 30,000 shares and received an outpouring of praise for the rescue mission.

"We just let nature take its course", she said.

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".

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