Stranded baby Dall’s porpoise escorted from Semiahmoo Marina

Published on Wed, Aug 3, 2011
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Photo by David Riffle

While walking on Semiahmoo Spit last Saturday evening, Blaine resident and photographer David Riffle and his wife Christine came across a rescue in progress.

A baby Dall’s porpoise was stranded at high tide on the shoreline. Two women from Canada had spent 20 minutes attempting to get it back into the channel, but it kept drifting back onto the shore with the tide. One last push diverted the porpoise into the channel leading up into the marina. It swam up the channel until it came to a fence protruding into the water, when some other people came to its help.

One man in a dinghy tried to redirect the porpoise, but it got confused and became tangled under the dock. Another passerby managed to get the porpoise out from under the dock, and he and Riffle held it while the decision was made to float the baby alongside the boat back into the channel. One Canadian jumped into the boat and held on to the baby in the water while the dinghy owner paddled it to safety.

Hopefully, it later met up with the mother, because it was judged to be no more than a day or so old and was obviously weakened by its experience and in need of food.