Hurricane Irma strands manatees on beach… until Floridians come to the rescue.

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Hurricane Irma strands manatees on beach… until Floridians come to the rescue.

One of Hurricane Irma’s most fearsome features was how it sucked up water into its orbit, draining beaches, waterways, bays and inlets to reveal ocean floor.

Casualties of this phenomena were often sea wildlife, like two manatees who found themselves stranded on dry land north of Sarasota.

Michael Sechler spotted the pair last Sunday afternoon, spotting them out where the bay was, and walking out to further investigate.

“One wasn’t moving, the other was breathing and had water in its eyes,” Sechler continued. “My friends and I couldn’t move these massive animals ourselves, and we called every service we could think of, but no one answered. We gave them as much water as we could, hoping the rain and storm surge [would] come soon enough to save them.”

But soon a group of fellow Floridians joined Michael, including police and ordinary citizens. Together they worked to rescue and carry the animals into deeper water.

They were rolled onto a tarp and then dragged about 100 yards to the water. Once they were back in deeper waters, the manatees swam off.

The Facebook posts by those who helped in the manatee rescue went viral, but as it turns out, manatees often do find themselves stranded on lands at times, even during non-emergency periods of time. Females even beach themselves to take a break from mating season.

But the impulse to help out will always be strong during the most challenging of times — which often can reveal the best of humankind.

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