VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) – A group of vacationers helped with a manatee rescue in Venice on Sunday.
According to police, the Venice Police Marine Unit responded to a manatee in distress, possibly from red tide.
The manatee was found in the area of the Intracoastal Waterway near the Venice Avenue boat ramp.
Master Police Officer Paul Joyce of the Marine Unit found the animal obviously distressed and it was having difficulty breathing.
Joyce recruited a few civilians in the area to help.
The good Samaritans jumped in the water to keep the manatee calm and keep its head above water to help it breathe.
Joyce notified the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Mote Marine Laboratory.
When FWC and Mote arrived, they were able to safely bring the manatee to the boat ramp for FWC Manatee Rescue to take it to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitation.
It took several people to pick up the manatee and place it in the truck.
Joyce said it was a taxing weekend for manatee recoveries and just this weekend alone, five manatees died in the Venice/Nokomis area.