Last weekend, a woman in Ireland selflessly saved a baby dolphin that had washed ashore by picking it up and carrying it back to the sea.
Jenni Hanninen, a native of Finland, was horseback riding on a beach in northeast Ireland when she spotted a small dolphin struggling near the edge of the water. She dismounted from her horse and moved to get a closer look.
“I just saw the first baby dolphin at the side of the water,” Jenni recalls. “I didn’t know who to call or if I should call the coastguard or someone.”
In the end, she took matters into her own hands. Jenni managed to pick up the baby dolphin and carry it until she was waist deep in the Irish Sea. Then she let him go and swim free. A couple of Jenni’s friends from the Piperstown Equestrian Centre filmed Jenni picking up the animal and carrying her back into the water.
Piperstown's Jenni Hänninen originally from Finland seen in action saving 2 dolphins stranded on Seapoint beach in Louth. Not only is Jenni one of our top riders in the yard, also turns out she's a cracking life guard, it must be the 'Fin'-ish in her 😍#SMCFoodSafety #LouthChat pic.twitter.com/Zg2gCdJEgv
— Piperstown Stables 🏇 (@riding_stables) July 3, 2018
But that wasn’t the end of the story. Right after carrying the dolphin into the sea, Jenni spotted another dolphin that found itself on the beach. So she did the same thing for the other dolphin, saving two baby dolphins in a matter of minutes.
“I went over to help and when I was coming back there was another one which was stranded as well,” said Jenni. “I didn’t even know they existed on the east coast.”
Dolphin sightings in the Irish Sea are indeed rare. But they are not unheard of in recent years with dolphins migrating more to warmer waters to find food, in part because of global climate change.
Some are calling Jenni’s heroics instinctual from growing up in Finland. But she insists she’s never done anything like this before.
“When I was younger I might have saved a couple of birds,” says Jenni. “But nothing like this.”