Dolphin stranded on Falmouth beach this morning put down - VIDEO
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A dolphin stranded on Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth this morning could not be rescued and had to be put down.
The animal was found on the beach by a woman at around 6.30am. She entered the water fully clothed and had tried to re-float the dolphin, rescuers said.
Mark Milburn, from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) charity, arrived on the scene at about 7.20am.
He, along with other rescuers, covered the common dolphin with wet towels and seaweed in an attempt to make it comfortable.
They had tried to refloat the animal at 8.45am, but after a half hour in the water this proved unsuccessful and the animal was returned to the beach where it was euthanised.
Mark said: "They tried to refloat it, but it wasn't really showing any signs of swimming off and normally they shoot straight off - If they don't they just go out to sea and drown.
"They [the team] don't know what's wrong with it but they have decided they are going to have to put it down.
"It's a very sad ending."
Area co-ordinator for BDMLR, Dave Jarvis, said the charity doesn't have to deal with many dolphins around Falmouth, but they are a common occurrence up and down the Cornish coast.
The dolphin in this case had suffered some superficial damage and was visibly "flexing" and "shivering" in distress, he said.
"It's not come up to 'say hello' or that kind of thing, there's a problem and there could be all manner of reasons why it's stranded," he said.
The decision to put down the animal only came after talking it over with his colleagues, Dave said, adding: "because it's an air breathing mammal we can't just leave it and walk away.
"It would be like me chucking you off the side of a boat when you can't swim.
"We are trying to give the animal the best outcome, instead of a slow miserable death."
Dave said the lady who found the animal had done the right thing in getting the word back to British Divers Marine Life Rescue, but should not have tried to put the animal back in the water.
He said: "You shouldn't put it back in on your own because it's there for a reason and it needs to be examined.
"If you find one just call us and we will send people to examine it."
The British Divers Marine Life Rescue hotline is 01825 765546 during office hours or 07787 433412 at all other times.
Anyone who finds a live stranded marine animal should note the place, the state of the tide and any injuries to the animal - without getting too close - and call one of the two numbers above.