THIS was the remarkable sight as a dolphin swam up the Dee and frolicked near Chester city centre.
The dolphin – nicknamed Dave by one onlooker – leapt from the water near the Racecourse before later heading downstream.Crowds of people were left bemused by the sight of the big fish, dubbed ‘Dave the Dolphin’, which ventured into the River Dee alongside the Riverside cycle path.
It was first spotted in Connah’s Quay docks on Monday night being being sighted near Chester city centre yesterday.
Onlookers posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter throughout the day showing the dolphin, which was also given nicknames including ‘The Dee Dolphin’ and ‘The Great Dee Rivermonster’, frolicking in the river.
As the Leader went to press last night, the dolphin was about five miles away from the Dee Estuary, being followed by two volunteers from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Flintshire Coastguard and Tom McGovern, of Wild Area, a conservation community interest company which has helped clean up the Dee over the past few years.
Mr McGovern, of Mount Pleasant, Saltney, said he had to jump into the water at about 5.30pm to help the dolphin after it became stuck on the sandbank near the Blue Bridge at Garden City, Deeside.
Last night Mr McGovern said: “We are just with the coastguards following the dolphin out to the Estuary. He is about four or five miles away now and he is in deeper water.
“I spotted it at about 8.30am and I have stayed with it since.”
Pippa Mahen, a marine mammal medic and vet with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, had earlier suggested the dolphin could be in the area for a “few days”. The charity was on hand to monitor the dolphin and make sure it was not in any danger.
She said: “He seemed to be moving around freely and when he jumps there were no wounds or anything.
“We were worried when he was closer to the weir and we thought we might have to get a boat out to turn him around but he turned around by himself and is slowly making his way back to the sea.”
She added they were going to carry on monitoring him because he might get distressed at low tide.
Ceri Jones, of Cefn Road, Wrexham, who volunteers for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said: “This is the first time I’ve been called out to something like this. We don’t get many close to Chester.
“I was surprised when I got a text saying there was a dolphin in Saltney.
“The dolphins are common in Britain and they are seen in the Irish Sea but it is rare to see them this far inland.”