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Marine Experts Issue a Warning after a Dolphin Plays with Swimmers in Cornwall

Marine experts have issued a warning after a dolphin was seen playing with swimmers off Cornwall. The group of tourists and paddle boarders were delighted when the animal joined them for a swim. They couldn't believe their luck when the dolphin swam over to them and joined in the fun at Hayle Harbour on Sunday [22] evening. But local experts are concerned for Nick’s welfare - and have said he could inadvertently cause a tragedy. The bottlenose dolphin, who has been named 'Nick', has been identified as a 'social solitary' dolphin which means he chooses to socialise with people instead of other dolphins. Nick had been spotted previously in the Isles of Scilly in June last year and later in County Cork, Ireland, but surprised visitors to Hayle Harbour over the weekend when he approached the swimmers and joined in their fun. Marine animal rescue charity British Divers Marine Life Rescue filmed Nick jumping in the water, splashing the delighted swimmers with his fins and waving his tail. BDMLR Area Coordinator Dan Jarvis, who filmed the sweet video, said: "Yesterday afternoon we had a call about a dolphin in St Ives Harbour, which turned out to be the new social solitary bottlenose dolphin who has been called ‘Nick’. "It later turned up in Hayle Harbour and came in amongst a large group of people, mostly children, who were already in the water and began interacting with them quite boisterously. "After a little while it became obvious that the dolphin’s behaviour was escalating and becoming more erratic, so we were very concerned that someone would get injured. "Hayle Surf Life Saving Club who were also monitoring the situation with us, also advised people to leave the water for their safety and their boat was then used to lure the animal back out to sea before the outgoing tide trapped it." BDMLR and another charity, The Marine Connection, are working together to raise awareness of the unique situation around this dolphin. The charities are urging people who encounter it to act with caution as its behaviour will not be like that of other dolphins and could be much more unpredictable. Advice includes not purposely going into the water to play with it, to not feed it, to keep boats moving at a steady course and speed and to avoid chasing and fast manoeuvres. *Video filmed 22nd August 2021.
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