Mattapoisett dolphin dies despite rescue

Mar 21, 2023

MATTAPOISETT— A dolphin rescue attempt near Ned’s Point on Friday, March 10 turned tragic after it was discovered that the dolphin had died, according to Natural Resource Officer Thomas Gomes. 

According to Gomes, the dolphin was found washed up on the shore despite the attempted rescue by passerby Elissa Roberg.

According to Roberg, she ran into the water after seeing the animal struggling from the shore, saying that her “instincts kicked in.”

Gomes said that the dolphin did not appear to have any physical injuries, but was likely suffering from illness. 

Dolphins separate themselves from their pod “when they're sick or injured and they try to remove themselves from the open ocean so that way they're not easy targets for their predators,” said Gomes. 

According to Gomes, this is a rare situation. 

“It only happens like 2000 times a year, if that,” he said. 

The global population for dolphins is approximately 600,000 according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. 

Gomes said that if someone sees an animal struggling in the water it is important not to touch or approach it. 

“Most of these animals can pose potential danger and put you and themselves at risk,” he said. 

Gomes said that if you find yourself in this situation, the first step is to call the Mattapoisett Police non-emergency line at 1-508-758-4141. The second step is to call the Mattapoisett Department of Natural Resources at 1-508-209-4931.

Gomes said that it is important to gather information about the location of the incident including the latitude and longitude or address and to report the information to National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at (866)-755-6622.