The fins of three dolphins are visible above the water in Heart's Delight. (Submitted by Geraldine Legge)

Concern mounts as dolphin pod is trapped off East Coast

Rescuers are hoping a change of weather, mainly a shift in the wind, will help free a trapped pod of seven dolphins off Canada’s East Coast.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans officials monitor the situation in Heart’s Delight. Their best hope for freeing a pod of trapped dolphins, they say, is likely a shift in the wind.
(Zach Goudie/CBC)

The dolphins were first spotted Sunday morning off Heart’s Delight, about an hour out of St. John’s.

Heavy ice has prevented them from making their way back to sea as their confinement continues to shrink.

Rescuers hope a shift of wind could blow the ice preventing the dolphins from exiting back to sea and provide an escape route.

Spectators in Heart’s Delight observe the trapped dolphins on Tuesday afternoon. (Zach Goudie/CBC)

“Most of the water has froze up there now,” says local resident Brad Sooley told CTV News. “They probably only have a nine-metre by 12-metre spot there now.”

On Tuesday, a Canadian Coast Guard attempted to go into the harbour to move the ice, but officials decided such an attempt would be too dangerous to the dolphins and cause them additional stress.

An official with Newfoundland and Labrador Whale Release and Standings says the harbour is too shallow to permit an ice breaker to make a rescue attempt.

Wayne Ledwell says if a vessel could cut a path, the ice would likely close too quickly for the dophins to escape.

Sooley, who is 80 and has lived in Heart’s Delight his entire life, says he’s never before seen dolphins get trapped in the harbour.

With files from CBC, CTV, CP

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