‘I got you, buddy': Watch Fla. cop free dolphin tangled in net

It took a few tries, but Flipper lived to swim another day


By Michelle Marchante
Miami Herald

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. — A dolphin tangled in a fishing net was rescued by a Miami-Dade police officer in the waters of the Intracoastal.

Newly released bodycam footage of last month’s rescue shows officer Nelson Silva of the police department’s Marine Patrol Unit slowly pulling the trapped dolphin closer to his boat.

“Come on big guy. Come here,” Silva is heard saying. “It’s OK, I got you. I got you.”

Silva starts to cut the net with a pocket knife. The dolphin occasionally puts up a fight, splashing and twisting to get away, but Silva has a steady hand, mostly. (He cut his hand.)

“I got you, buddy,” Silva repeats as he tries to cut the net again. It takes a few more tries, but eventually he pulls the rest of the net away.

And splash, the dolphin quickly swims off.

Police say they sent Silva out to search the waters of the Intracoastal Waterway in the Shorecrest area near Miami Shores after receiving a call about a “dolphin in distress.”

It’s a good thing Silva found the little guy: Entanglement in fishing nets, known as “bycatch,” is the biggest cause of death for dolphins, small whales, and porpoises, according to the World Wildlife Fund. A tangled dolphin or whale could suffocate before it reaches the surface for air or get injured while trying to escape the net.

[RELATED: 6 times rural cops rescued animals from danger in 2021]

©2022 Miami Herald. Visit miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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