Young dolphin dies despite rescue efforts in Pacific Beach

Lifeguards lift a dolphin into a canvas carrier Aug. 24 while trying to save the animal with a SeaWorld rescue team.

A juvenile dolphin that repeatedly beached itself Aug. 24 in Pacific Beach later died, despite the efforts of San Diego lifeguards and a SeaWorld rescue team.

The dolphin, which lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum said was not a baby but not yet a full-grown adult, first beached itself around 4:30 p.m. just south of the main Pacific Beach lifeguard tower at the end of Grand Avenue.

Lifeguards spent about an hour trying to steer the dolphin into deeper water, but it went straight back to the beach each time, Lerum said. The lifeguards noticed that the animal had blood near its rostrum, or nose.

After being unable to get the dolphin back to deeper water — where a pod of the animals had been seen earlier, according to witnesses — a SeaWorld rescue team arrived, Lerum said.

Lifeguards helped the SeaWorld team load the dolphin into a canvas carrier designed for moving sea creatures, and the dolphin was lifted into a transport truck designed for such rescues.

But the dolphin died that evening after the rescue team picked it up for transport.

It was unclear what ailed the dolphin, and no other details of the incident were available Aug. 25.