New Brunswick

Stranded dolphin freed in Riverview canoe rescue

A dolphin stranded in mud in New Brunswick's Petitcodiac River has been rescued.

A dolphin stranded in mud in New Brunswick's Petitcodiac River was rescued Thursday.

Riverview's Sandra and Jim Davis told CBC News they spotted the struggling creature in shallow water about 60 metres behind their home as the tide went out Thursday morning.

The dolphin was stuck on its side, with its tail and fin out of the water and its head buried in the mud.

The couple called 911, which dispatched a fire crew, but the quicksand-like mud prevented the two from approaching the white-sided dolphin.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans arrived in the afternoon to help with the rescue effort. As the tide roared back in Thursday afternoon, the water started to free the animal. An officer from the DFO borrowed a canoe to help it.

"The next-door neighbour brought a canoe over and so they decided to try ... to get it into the canoe," Jim Davis said. "They were able to lift him up with their oars."

The officer lifted the creature out of the mud and into the canoe before returning it to the water downstream. It struggled for a while before finally swimming off.

Davis said he expects there will be more stuck sea creatures because of the effect of reopening the causeway gates last year.

"If they're going to keep the gates open, they should have some kind of system where they can perform quick rescue for individuals that are stuck in the mud," he said.