She arrived in the Haven almost 2 years ago and entertained the swimmers, snorkelers and divers for a short period before finding the Palm Beach – Ettalong ferry a lot more fun to chase. This brought her into our Brisbane Waters and that’s where she has stayed for all this time. No one knows why she came, however those who have been lucky enough to encounter “Lucy” have a special story of their own. The locals call her “Illusive” or “Lucy” for short, due to her elusive nature. Fishermen, sailors, ferry commuters and lucky mariner guests have been entertained by her sudden appearance, her playful spirit and her sudden disappearance. We all love dolphins and to have our own resident dolphin for these past couple of years has been special.
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One fisherman I spoke to on the water’s edge said he lives on his house boat and every morning the dolphin would arrive early and rattle the chains – like a dog wanting to go for a walk. He would get into his little tinny and “take her for a walk”. Others described how Lucy would make noises so that the dogs on the boat would bark and come to the boat’s edge. Then these beautiful creatures, dog & dolphin, would “chat” to each other. What a special creature Lucy was and I have had the privilege of photographing her for ORRCA Inc. on several occasions.
Sadly the call from ORRCA today was to help the team to get her corpse out of the water as she had become tangled in a mooring line and unable to free herself. The stench was revolting as we motored out to the corpse bobbed on the surface. The crowd on the water’s edge grew – each on looker taking time out of their day to say a final farewell to a friend, we Brisbane Water locals have come to know and love as one of our own. The media arrived to which says a great deal for her importance in the community. We dived into an extremely fast flowing current and fought to keep from drifting up Empire Bay. Once under water we could see the mooring line that had caused her death and sadly we slipped her tail free of it so that the authorities could remove her from the water and do what they have to do with her body. We finally could determine that “Lucy” is an appropriate name for her as she was a female and measured a healthy 2.3meters long.
If only the fishermen who said they had freed her on Sunday evening had called ORRCA Inc. – we could have dived down and made certain of this. We could have saved her life. ORRCA Inc. is a voluntary organization made up of members who want to assist in the rescue and rehabilitation of big sea creatures.
ORRCA (Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia) is the most experienced and successful whale rescue organization in Australia. ORRCA is also involved with the protection and welfare of seals, sea lions, dolphins and dugongs. Every year ORRCA volunteers spend many hours protecting hauled out seals and monitoring other marine mammals. We also work with Government Authorities and other groups with marine mammal rehabilitation and release. ORRCA’s input is also sought when legislative bodies are amending existing laws or introducing new ones.
Volunteering your time to an organization like this selfless and rewarding. It does have it’s sad time too as today was for me. As a scuba diver with a love for dolphins whales sharks and all sea life – this is a little way for me to give back. Check out the next training days ORRCA are running on their website and join the team. Let’s hope we get more calls to photograph the beautiful creatures in their element, diving and teasing the locals with their illusiveness. As a Dive Imports Australia instructor I am lucky to have store and Scuba School that supports and assists whenever I put out the call. Our Dive Imports tribe have freed turtles from fishing lines, fishes from hooks and entanglement, we’ve cleaned up the Haven and have another date planned for Thursday the 26th November. We love seeing these beautiful creatures in their glory not tangled up in shark nets. Join us on Thursday the 26th November at the Haven carpark – geared up and ready to dive at 12pm.
Join us and let’s do it for Lucy – let’s make a difference just as she did. R.I.P Lucy
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