A dolphin believed to be in distress drew hundreds of holidaymakers and locals to Weymouth Beach.
People were urged to stay out of the water yesterday afternoon (25 August) as the animal swam near the pavilion.
Police, coastguards, lifeguards, a marine rescue team and a veterinary nurse all attended.
An area of the beach was cordoned off as the coastguards and experts monitored the animal's behaviour.
The British Divers Marine Life Rescue Team had received reports of sightings from as early as 8:30am, but the team stayed until dark so they could monitor the animal's welfare and keep people away.
A spokesperson from Wyke Coastguard CRT said: "Expert opinion suggested the dolphin was injured and wanted to beach itself but due to crowds and people in the water couldn't.
"The team set up a cordon to give the mamal some space and provide a Water Rescue capability if required.
"After a couple of hours, the crowds dispersed and with a dropping tide we stood down."