Ever since dolphins were spotted a few years ago romping in the Navesink River, the mammals’ sporadic migration to the Jersey Shore area has been intriguing to many the Middletown area.
Word spread quicky when a dolphin sighting turned into a rescue attempt on a beach a bit further south.
The dolpin died on the Belmar beach Saturday afternoon after beachgoers pulled ashore the struggling mammal.
It didn’t survive the wait for a team of experts to arrive from southern New Jersey, witnesses and officials said.
According to witnesses, surfers spotted the dolphin at about 2 p.m. just off 17th Avenue beach and soon realized something was awry. The surfers and several beachgoers, in contact with the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, eventually used beach towels to carry the dolphin to shore where it died soon after, witnesses said.
The dolphin apparently had swallowed a fishing hook and was wrapped in fishing line, witnesses said. The stranding center’s director, Sheila Dean, said the cause of death wouldn’t be determined for at least 48 hours, when preliminary results of a necropsy are completed.
Full story: MiddletownPatch