Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
World News | By Carolyn Briggs

Stranded manatees rescued as Hurricane Irma sucks away Florida shores

Stranded manatees rescued as Hurricane Irma sucks away Florida shores

Two manatees were stranded after Hurricane Irma sucked the water out of Sarasota Bay, in Florida's Manatee County.

Clavijo said they got the manatees onto a tarp and dragged them 100 feet.

The entire thing was caught on video.

Hurricane Irma has pushed water out of a bay in Tampa, but forecasters are telling people not to venture out there, because it's going to return with a potentially deadly vengeance.

The manatees beached in Sarasota and other parts of Florida along Irma's path suffered from an unusual phenomenon in which water was pulled away from typically submerged shores while areas above sea level suffered flooding.

In a Facebook post, Michale Sechler said he went to the bay with some friends to check out the phenomenon when they noticed two large objects lying in the mud.

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

"It was a pretty cool experience", Clavijo said in a post that has been shared more than 30,000 times.

"So we took off our shoes and walked out through the shells to find two beached manatees", Sechler said.

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

Nadia Gordon, a marine mammal biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told the Bradenton Herald that they are "not actually intervening at this point".

"Believe me, we tried to move them", Sechler wrote. "But between [the manatees] weighing over 500lbs and being stranded in nearly mud-like sand, we couldn't make it happen." .

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