Heartbreaking moments as Paul Gardiner attempts to rescue Commons Dolphin

Posted in News by Alan Straton on 7 January, 2019 at 11:31 a.m.

On December 27, whilst on a long 15 Kilometer beach run between Kleinmond and Fish River Sun, CEO of Beyond Africa The Mantis Collection, Paul Gardiner, came upon a beached Commons Dolphin.

Running through a cleansing African Storm, Paul came upon the struggling beached dolphin. “The dolphin was clearly alive and I was alone on a rainy beach and, despite that, I decided to jump in and try to get him back in the water,” explained Paul.

“I struggled for about an hour to save this magnificent creature and propped my cellphone on the sand to capture the footage, hoping that the ending would be a triumph,” said Gardiner.

Being alone Gardiner was prudent in not going too deep into the water for fear of being sucked out in the rip tide.

Frustratingly the dolphin kept beaching himself each time Paul floated him out, probably exhausted the dolphin kept on being swept back to shore by the waves.

The stranded Dolphin and one man’s heroic attempt to save it. Photo: Paul Gardiner

With darkness descending Paul had to cease his rescue attempts and leave the dolphin to the sometimes cruel forces of nature.

A clearly emotional Gardiner said his goodbyes and allowed nature to take it’s course.

The dolphin was young and looked healthy and one always wonders why a single dolphin ends up beaching itself. The first thought is always that man has somehow contributed to the demise of our precious marine animals. Around the world, an estimated one million birds and 100 000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year when they become trapped in plastic or eat it, perhaps mistaking it for a food. Plastic is one of biggest threats to all whales and dolphins in all the oceans of the world.

“Mantis is very keen to support and get behind any Mantis Marine Activity that will highlight the fragility of our oceans, in association with our friends Rainer and Silke Schimpf from AB Marine and Expert Tours. One of the ways is via a proposed Whale Sculpture to be a receptacle of plastic waste on the beachfront. This will raise awareness of the fragility of our oceans and combat plastic pollution,” said Gardiner.

“The Plastic Whale initiative will be a visual demonstration of the dangers of plastic in our oceans,” said Schimpf. “After all, we would rather the public throw their plastic waste into our land based whale than the ocean to land up as ‘food’ for marine animals,” concluded Schimpf.

Paul Gardiner, CEO of Beyond Africa The Mantis Collection. Photo: Alan Straton.

About Mantis:
Founded in 2000, the Mantis brand has been acclaimed for its pioneering work in Conservation, Education, supreme Hospitality, Development and Market Penetration. Our Company has been recognised as the recipient of many International Awards including The World’s Leading Conservation Company and The Prestigious Terra Nova Award.

About AB MArine:
Algoa Bay Marine is a fully licensed Boat Based Whale Watching Operator in Algoa Bay with a valid Whale Watching permit issued in 2017 – which is valid for a period of 10 years from date of issue. Utilising 2 boats; ‘AB Marine’ and ‘Expert Tours‘ under the guidance of award winning tour operators and photographers, Rainer and Silke Schimpf.

About Paul Gardiner:
Paul and his father Adrian have grown their hotel group, Mantis, from its humble beginnings in 1990, with the conception of Shamwari Game Reserve, to the only hotel group in the world with a presence on all 7 continents. Paul is also in partnership with the survival expert and television personality, Bear Grylls. Paul’s heart is very much into conservation and he’s on a crusade with the rest of his family to help save Africa’s rhino.

Submitted by: MyPR

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