Hurricane Irma’s powerful winds drained Tampa Bay waterways — for 200 miles. The draining happened so quickly, manatees were left beached on muddy land.
Steven Reisinger, Michael Sechler, and Donavan Norton spotted two of those stranded manatees. They tried to move the massive creatures — but no luck.
“We gave them as much water as we could, hoping the rain and storm surge [would] come soon enough to save them,” Michael wrote on Instagram.
They called every local organization they could think of.
“Believe me, we tried to move them,” he wrote. “But between [the manatees] weighing over 500 lbs and being stranded in almost mud-like sand, we couldn’t make it happen.”
Fortunately, Marcelo Clavijo and a group of Good Samaritans returned to the area and created a system to move the sea cows. Marcelo was feeling stir-crazy and decided to walk to the bay. That’s when he spotted the two manatees.
“With a handful of people and 2 of [Tampa’s] finest that were knee-deep in mud right next to us… we rolled them on the tarp and then dragged them 100 yards,” Marcello said.
The group filmed the unbelievable rescue that would save the lives of the displaced sea animals.
“[We] said ‘One, two, three’ and pulled them back to the channel. They both swam off,” Marcelo told FOX 13.
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Image Credit: Instagram / Michael Sechler
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