MICHELE NORRIS, host:
Sometimes if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. That's certainly the attitude of some people in Seal Cove, Newfoundland. Last weekend, a pod of five dolphins became trapped by ice in a cove near the town. As the week went by, the ice grew, the dolphins got weaker and two of the dolphins disappeared. People feared they were dead.
The town asked for the Canadian government to send an icebreaker to free the dolphins but was told none was available. So, yesterday, five residents of Seal Cove put on cold weather survival gear, hopped in a fiberglass motorboat and freed the dolphins themselves. One of the people who was part of that rescue effort is Ruben Giles, and he's here with me now on the phone. Welcome to the program, Mr. Giles.
Mr. RUBEN GILES: Thank you.
NORRIS: Now, why did you decide to stop waiting for help and jump in this boat and take on the rescue effort yourself?
Mr. GILES: Well, what we see in time was around (unintelligible) and the blowhole was only about, I would say, 15-feet round. They would've died that night. We decided now, well, well, we've got to take it in our own hands and do something. We decided to cut the channel right on through to open water.
NORRIS: So, when you talk about this blowhole, you're talking about this area where the dolphins were able to surface, where you could actually see them above the water?
Mr. GILES: Yes, my love. That was the only supply of oxygen that they would have had there. Once that was gone, they would have perished, there, right? Time was running out fast for them.
NORRIS: Now, when you describe this rescue effort, you make it sound relatively easy. But it sounds, in reading about this…
Mr. GILES: No, well…
NORRIS: Like, you had to work pretty hard to break up that ice.
Mr. GILES: Well, it was four hours breaking through that trail.
NORRIS: And how'd you break through it? You had to rock the boat back and forth against the ice?
Mr. GILES: Well, we had to rock the boat, forwards and come back and go ahead again and break it down and go in and, meanwhile, there was only three of us in the boat. The other two guys was to keep the dolphins above where they were in the water with floater suits on trying to survive - keep them up so they could breathe, right?
NORRIS: Well, now, take me back to that moment when you arrived back on shore. Were the good people of Seal Cove waiting for you in the port?
Mr. GILES: Well, there was a lot of people saying, Giles, oh man, everybody's -everybody was ecstatic.
NORRIS: You must feel pretty good about this?
Mr. GILES: Oh, we're ecstatic. My lord - I don't know - on a scale of 1 to 10, 30.
NORRIS: Mr. Giles, thank you very much for your time, and again, congratulations on this do-it-yourself dolphin rescue.
Mr. GILES: Thank you very much, my love.
NORRIS: That's Ruben Giles. He helped free three dolphins trapped in ice in Seal Cove, Newfoundland yesterday.
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