1. ITV Report

Surfers drive 100 miles to release stranded porpoise

Ben and Dave prepare to release the porpoise into the sea Photo: Dave Butterton

A stranded porpoise has been rescued from a sandbank by two surfers as they prepared to ride the Severn Bore.

Dave Butterton and Ben Rogers from Ilfracombe in Devon were paddling into position when they heard a 'strange noise' nearby.

Rather than releasing the porpoise back into the Severn, they wrapped it in damp sheets and towels and drove 100 miles - to North Devon - where they released it.

Dave Butterton, surfer Credit: Dave Butterton

We surfed the bore at one spot, paddling down to the next spot myself and Ben heard a strange noise coming from the sandbank. On investigation it was a stranded porpoise!

We thought about just releasing her back into the channel but it is pretty inevitable that she would get stranded on the next low tide and the next until exhausted she would have passed away. More dead porpoises are found in Gloucester than live ones.


During the journey to North Devon the two surfers regularly stopped to water their poorly passenger.

The mammal was finally released back into the wild at 10pm.

What to do if you find a stranded marine animal

  • Telephone for help immediately - British Divers Marine Life Rescue
  • Calmly approach the animal, but be careful for any sudden movements
  • If you can find help, gently roll the animal onto its front and keep its skin wet by dousing it in seawater
  • Keep dogs and crowds away
  • Do not attempt to drag the animal