Surfer Rescues Stranded Dolphin on California Beach

Uncategorized By Mar 08, 2023

A group of teen surfers in Newport Beach, California rescued a stranded dolphin that was beached and in terrible shape. They dragged the weak animal back to the deeper water and paddled it out to safety. Although stranding can have a high mortality rate, rescuers have successfully returned stranded dolphins to the sea in the past. It is essential to report stranded marine animals to the nearest aquarium, zoo, or marine sanctuary immediately and observe them from a safe distance. The teen surfers received international recognition for their courage and bravery, highlighting the importance of advocating for the preservation of marine life and the conservation of our oceans.

Surfers often feel at one with the ocean, and when they encounter marine creatures, it creates a bond with nature that is hard to match. Recently, in Newport Beach, California, a young surfer went above and beyond to assist a stranded dolphin, which won her accolades worldwide. The encounter was a rare but thrilling moment for the surfer who had to muster all her sailing skills and courage to save the struggling marine animal.

The rescue was a fortunate accident. 13-year-old Maddy Alaniz and her friends were surfing off the coast, enjoying the waves and sunshine when one of them spotted a struggling dolphin on the sand. At first, they were hesitant to approach it, but on closer inspection, they noticed it was alive, beached and in terrible shape. The dolphin was thrashing frantically, and it was clear that it needed immediate help. The teen surfers knew it was crucial to act fast before the tide engulfed the creature, so they quickly paddle over to the helpless mammal.

It’s not clear what caused the dolphin to strand, but some species of dolphins often get caught in fishing nets or trawlers leading to injuries that leave them stranded on the shore. In some cases, marine animals get separated from their pod, leading to isolation and eventual anxiety, making it difficult for them to swim.

Maddy and her friends knew that they had to act fast, and they immediately started dragging the dolphin back into the deeper water. It was a daunting task since the dolphin appeared too weak to move, and it took-what-seemed-like-forever-for the teen surfers to pull the dolphin back to safety. But their persistence paid off, and soon enough, they were able to start paddling the creature back out to sea. A few tense moments passed as they continued maneuvering the dolphin, but eventually, the moment arrived when the dolphin reached deeper water, and there was finally enough buoyancy to allow it to swim away.

Sadly, this was not the first time a stranded dolphin was rescued off a California beach. In 2020, an “unprecedented” number of dolphins – more than 600 of them were found stranded on the coast. Dolphins also got stranded on Florida beaches in 2021, attracting headlines worldwide.

Q: Do Dolphins get stranded often?
A: While dolphins are excellent swimmers and have been known to swim as fast as 20mph, they do get tired, and on some occasions, they become disoriented or injured, leading to stranding. Although stranding carries a high mortality rate, especially if the animal is not found fast, rescuers have successfully returned stranded dolphins to the sea in the past.

Q: How are stranded dolphins rescued?
A: A stranded dolphin should be reported immediately to the nearest aquarium, zoo, or marine sanctuary. Rescuers will then carefully lift the marine animal and transport it on a specialized stretcher to the open sea or another wildlife center for rehabilitation. Doctors would also attend to any wounds or injuries that the animal may have sustained while stranded.

Q: Can you touch a stranded dolphin?
A: It’s illegal to touch marine animals in the United States, as it places the animal and the handlers at risk. Therefore, it’s essential to observe the animal from a safe distance and report its location to the appropriate authority for rescue and rehabilitation.


Saving one marine animal won’t stop them from stranding, but it’s a step in the right direction. The teen surfers acted as fast as they could, and as a result, they gained international recognition for their courage and bravery in hauling the dolphin back to its natural habitat. It’s up to all of us to continue advocating for the preservation of marine life and the conservation of our oceans.