Men Attempt Rescue of Manatees Trapped After Hurricane Irma Drains Bay

Two manatees are rescued from Sarasota Bay when the water receded

Two manatees are rescued from Sarasota Bay when the water receded

The manatees beached in Sarasota and other parts of Florida along Irma's path suffered from an unusual phenomenon in which water was pulled away from typically submerged shores while areas above sea level suffered flooding.

"So we took off our shoes and walked out through the shells to find two beached manatees", Sechler said.

Forecasters warned gawkers to stay clear of the exposed beach, warning that at least 10 to 15-feet of a "life-threatening storm surge" could return at any moment, according to the U.S. Hurricane Center.

Michael Sechler posted that the animals, known as sea cows, were far too massive to be lifted, so they gave them water.

Another Floridian, Marcelo Clavijo, also said he helped in the rescue of the manatees. He wrote on Facebook that he came across the animals near Whitfield, north of Sarasota.

Two manatees are rescued from Sarasota Bay when the water receded
Two manatees are rescued from Sarasota Bay when the water receded

Clavejo said the rescue was a "pretty cool experience" and he was happy to rescue two of "manatees finest". "We rolled them on the tarp and then dragged them a 100 [yards]".

As the storm hit the west coast of the state, manatees were left high and dry when the storm's punishing winds from the east pushed water out of areas along the coast.

"By this time, people should have already completed most of their preparations and gotten out of the way", said Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane.

Gordon says it's not uncommon for the manatees to be tidally stranded and that it's better not to move them.

"It shows what people can do when they come together".

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