Police Rescue Stranded Manatee From Pound Net In Chesapeake Bay

August 29, 2023

Local authorities rescued a manatee stranded in a pound net on Sunday afternoon at the mouth of the Rappahannock River in the Chesapeake Bay.

manatee rescue
Credit: Virginia Marine Police

The incident unfolded when a concerned paddleboarder reported a manatee trapped in a pound net off Windmill Point Marina.

Officer Neil Gunter responded quickly, finding the trapped manatee in a pound net freely swimming and not appearing to be in distress, the Virginia Marine Police said.

"MPO Gunter contacted the Virginia Stranding Team to help him assess the health of the manatee and devise the best course of action for safely rescuing the animal," the department said. "MPO Gunter moored his patrol vessel to the pound net and stood by with the manatee, monitoring its health and behavioral condition, ready to intervene should the manatee's condition worsen. He also took this time to contact the owner of the pound net."

Officer Gunter and the pound net owner lowered the fishing gear and the manatee swam out without harm and continued its journey out of the Chesapeake Bay.

"I was surprised to see a manatee up here, in fact, I didn't believe it when the call came in," Officer Gunter said. "But it was cool to see one in person, and I am glad that I could help in its time of need. It's what we do."

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