People in the Newfoundland community of Seal Cove, White Bay said Wednesday they are afraid that if help doesn't arrive soon, five dolphins trapped by ice will drown.

The mammals swam into the harbour of the northeast coast community four days ago, and now they can't get back to the ocean.

Seal Cove Mayor Winston May said Tuesday it appears the five dolphins, who have been swimming in circles just 30-metres from the shore, are running out of room.

"It seems like what they're doing, they keep going round circles and trying to keep this little pool of water open so that they can have their breathing area. And the whole bay seems to be froze up, there's no where else for them to go," he said.  

It's the first time the community's seen a situation like it, according to May, who said people have been coming to him in tears because they're so concerned.

Said Seal Cove resident Stanley Banks: "Those dolphins there last night, they were all crying. You could hear the screams coming out of them. And they were trying to break the ice there just to survive. And there's us here empty-handed. And DFO with all this money won't even send a boat in here to let those out? It's a crime."

Banks said if something isn't done soon, the five dolphins surely will die.

The mayor said Wednesday that DFO told him there were no icebreakers available.