Distressed Manatee Rescued Near Venice

Venice, Fla. (970 WFLA)- A manatee in distress from possible red tide was found in the area of the Intracoastal Waterway south,  near the Venice Ave. boat ramp Sunday.  

Master Police Officer Paul Joyce of the Venice Police Marine Unit found it with obvious signs of distress and having difficulty breathing. 

Officer Joyce recruited a few vacationers that were in the area to help.   These Good Samaritans didn’t hesitate to jump into the water to keep the manatee calm and its head above water to help it breathe. 

Once Officer Joyce had the situation under control he notified the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Mote Marine Laboratory. The group was able to safely bring the manatee to the boat ramp for FWC Manatee Rescue truck to take it to St. Petersburg for rehab.

It took several people to carefully pick up the manatee and place it into the truck.  Agencies helping out were Venice Police Marine  Unit, FWC, Venice Fire, and Sarasota Marine Unit. 

The Venice Police Marine Unit would like to thank all the agencies and everyone including the family and friends that were here on vacation from Jacksonville. The Good Samaritans  who helped with the manatee rescue were Robert Bullington, Stephen Lundy, Chris McGrath and Aaron Spencer.

Unfortunately this was a very taxing weekend with several manatee recoveries, in the  Venice/Nokomis area there were five manatee deaths.

Photo Credit: Venice Police


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