A particularly sad story came out of Cornwall last week. This concerns the large number of dolphins that died when they got stranded in Porth Creek which lies in the heart of the beautiful Roseland Peninsula. There were 24 deaths but another two dolphins had to be put down making 26 in total. Fortunately good work by RNLI crews and wildlife volunteers resulted in even more dolphins being shepherded back out to sea.
The reason why the dolphins came into a creek off the little Percuil River is a mystery and could remain so. Post-mortems are being carried out of course, at the moment it seems that the dolphins had been in good health and not starving. There is finger pointing at the MOD because there had been exercises not too far away from the Fal estuary prior to the stranding incident. Naturally the MOD is being very defensive in what it is saying at the moment: reports suggest that a Merlin helicopter had been using a sonar device that is winched down into the sea to hunt for submarines. And the authorities admit that a survey ship employing a low-powered seabed scanner had been in the area.
It's very difficult to come to any sensible conclusions on this matter at the moment. Certainly it must have been very upsetting for the rescuers finding so many of these dead mammals.