Floridians rescue stranded manatees as Irma sucks water from shores

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Michael Sechler of Sarasota, Florida, saw these stranded creatures beached where formerly there was water and took action to save them.

Of all the destructive impacts of a hurricane, with its life-threatening storm surges and massive flooding, the sudden lack of aquatic habitat is not a typical concern. Sechler said he posted pictures of the stranded manatees hoping rescue workers or wildlife officials would respond.

"It was a pretty cool experience", Clavijo wrote.

However, he said the commission is anxious that the manatees could end up in areas where they naturally wouldn't once the tide comes back, but he doesn't think they will get injured.

A few residents in the area came to the rescue, placing them on a large green tarp and pulling them more than 100 yards back into the water.

A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter
A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter

The county sheriff said on twitter that two of his deputies assisted in the rescue.

"We had to do something about it", local resident Tony Faradini-Campos told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

"[We] said "1-2-3" and pulled them back to the channel".

Manatees are protected under federal and Florida law, which states that "it is unlawful for any person, at any time, intentionally or negligently, to annoy, molest, harass or disturb any manatee". Clavijo wrote on Facebook that he came across the sea cows after he was getting "stir crazy" from the storm. "We couldn't just let those manatees die out there".

Hurricane Irma is literally moving the ocean
The National Hurricane Center predicts a "life-threatening storm surge" will hit the islands of the Florida Keys on Sunday. But not many people could predict what the storm did to the ocean surrounding a few small Bahamian islands.


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