Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

People rescue manatees stuck in bay drained by Irma

People rescue manatees stuck in bay drained by Irma

The U.S. Hurricane Center has sent out an urgent alert warning of a "life-threatening storm surge inundation of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) above ground level" and telling people to "MOVE AWAY FROM THE WATER!".

Hurricane Irma pulled water from Sarasota Bay on Sunday afternoon and left several manatees stuck in knee-deep mud, CBS affiliate WTSP-TV in Tampa reports. Once such case: Florida residents recently came together to help two stranded manatees.

Local resident Michael Sechler shared a photograph of one of the manatees, beached due to an extremely low tide, on Facebook and recalled how he came across the sea mammals. Between law enforcement officials and a group of citizens, the manatees - stranded, of course, in Manatee County - were rescued and carried back into deeper water, Fox 13 reported. Although the wind temporarily removed water from the area, it returned with strength. "My friends and I couldn't move these massive animals ourselves, and we called every service we could think of, but no one answered".

"By this time, people should have already completed most of their preparations and gotten out of the way", said Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane.

We can only imagine how scared the manatees were...

...

A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter
A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter

The viral Facebook post has more than 96,000 likes and 68,000 shares.

"We're not actually intervening at this point", Gordon said.

The manatees weren't the only animals to be rescued so far in Florida as the state suffers Irma's wrath.

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