Dolphin rescue 2

The group lifted the dolphin onto a tarp and carried it towards the sea. (Submitted by Andrew Moir)

A beached dolphin has a small community in Digby County to thank for potentially saving its life after volunteers helped push the mammal to deeper waters.

Billy Howard was picking up periwinkles on Long Island around 8 p.m. on Tuesday when he found a beached dolphin.

He called local whale-watching guide Chris Callaghan to help and she rallied a rescue effort.

“North East Cove in Freeport fully drains at low tide,” Callaghan told CBC’s Mainstreet. “This dolphin somehow got in when there was water and as the tide receded it was stranded on the sand.”

Dolphin rescue

A dolphin had beached itself in North East Cove, on Long Island. (Submitted by Andrew Moir)

The Marine Animal Response Society said it was probably too late for Fisheries and Oceans to come

So Callaghan’s husband Andy Moir turned to Facebook for help and about 12 people came down.

Callaghan guesses the animal had probably been out of the water for a few hours.

“We went down and put towels on the dolphin and wet the towels just to keep the skin moist,” she said.

“It obviously couldn’t move, it was still breathing. You know it’s hard to tell what they’re thinking.”

The group lifted the dolphin onto a tarp and carried it towards the water. By that point, the tide was coming in.

“It was pretty weak,” said Callaghan.

They then took turns holding the animal and rocking it back and forth so that it could regain its equilibrium, a tip Callaghan learned while rescuing beached whales. By the time they let it go it was almost dark and the water was chest-deep.

“The tail started going up and down you could see it was making some effort,” said Callaghan.

Callaghan says she returned to the beach around 7 a.m. on Wednesday and luckily, there was no sign of the dolphin.

“I’m an animal lover as I think is everybody who came last night...they are magnificent. You cannot see a dolphin in the wild without smiling,” she said. “There’s nothing you can do but try to help it.”