Fridrik Tiedemann doubts his grandson will ever forget the day Papa rescued a dolphin.
Tiedemann took Jackson White, 8, kayaking July 3 on Battery Creek. They spent the afternoon on a small tributary, watching crabs, fish and a dolphin play.
“We lost sight of her, and the next thing my grandson says is ‘Papa,’ Tiedemann said. “And I heard this splashing and flailing. ‘Papa, Papa, there’s the dolphin.’
“And the dolphin was on the sandbar and couldn’t get off.”
Tiedemann — a veteran law enforcement official who has worked with the S.C. Highway Patrol, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and the Beaufort City Police Department — went into action.
He told his grandson to stand out of the way as he cautiously approached the dolphin, which was on its side.
“She settled down and I talked to her. Well, I don’t know how much she understood,” he said. “I just kept telling her, ‘You’ll be OK honey, you’ll be OK. We’ll get out of here.’ And the dolphin, she’s looking at me, she’s got her eyes just focused on me, and in that combination of her being tired and me talking to her, she didn’t object to me touching her.”
Tiedemann took the dolphin’s tail and started trying to drag it across the sandbar, which he estimated to be 100 feet wide.
That’s when a boat pulled up and Beaufort Fire Chief Clay Scoggins jumped out.
Scoggins said he was launching his boat from the Battery Creek Landing when people started shouting about the dolphin rescue. He offered a hand, and together the men dragged the dolphin into Battery Creek, where it promptly swam off, Scoggins said.