For the second time in recent months, the University of Georgia Marine Extension (MAREX) has assisted the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR)’s Nongame Conservation Section in the rescue of a bottlenose dolphin entangled in a crab pot buoy line.

Reported by recreational boaters near Savannah on Sept. 16, MAREX staff quickly responded in a UGA skiff and began attempts to free the dolphin. After more than an hour of efforts, a crew of seven MAREX and GDNR staff successfully disentangled the dolphin, who swam away with minimal injuries.

“We are first responders for marine strandings in the northern portion of Georgia’s coast,” said Mary Sweeney-Reeves, MAREX marine educator and boat captain. “Our location in Savannah, the accessibility we have to local waters with our small boats, together with staff skills and training, allows us to help DNR save the lives of stranded or entangled dolphins.”

This was the second disentanglement of a living dolphin involving MAREX staff in 2013. MAREX has been a collaborative responder for GDNR’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network and its Sea Turtle Stranding Network for decades. MAREX is a Public Service and Outreach unit at the University of Georgia.