Hurricane Irma: Manatees marooned in drained bay saved by residents

Several good Samaritans jumped into action after Irma sucked the water from Sarasota Bay leaving several manatees stranded and in need of help.

Another Facebook user, Marcelo Clavijo, later said that he and two Manatee County Sheriff's deputies helped move the manatees about 100 yards closer to the water.

The entire thing was caught on video. So when Florida residents started sharing pictures of two stranded manatees on social media, it tugged at the heart strings of animal lovers.

Local resident Michael Sechler shared a photograph of one of the manatees, beached due to an extremely low tide, on Facebook and recalled how he came across the sea mammals.

Hurricane Irma has caused colossal storm surges across Florida, but it has also deprived other areas of water.

"By this time, people should have already completed most of their preparations and gotten out of the way", said Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane.

Two manatees are rescued from Sarasota Bay when the water receded
Two manatees are rescued from Sarasota Bay when the water receded

"We just want people to realize this is a serious threat".

Clavijo's post has gotten more than 30,000 shares and received an outpouring of praise for the rescue mission. "Unfortunately with manatees, they are accustomed to being tidally stranded at times".

The Bradenton Herald said that people should not attempt to move manatees themselves because they are protected at the state and federal levels.

"We're not actually intervening at this point", Gordon said.

The post was seen by Manatee County police and the Florida and Wildlife Conservation Commission who turned up to the area and rescued the animals.

  • Rogelio Becker