Experts are appealing for people who see stranded dolphins not to drag them back into the sea.
The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) charity has issued the appeal after a live stranded common dolphin was dragged back into the sea in Cornwall before they could do anything to help.
The charity says well-meaning members of the public dragged the dolphin down the beach and tried to refloat it three or four times before it died.
In a post on social media the BDMLR said: "Whilst this is well meaning, it is extremely frustrating as the animal may have been saved if trained medics had attended. Sadly, in this instance, the dolphin had died before we got there."
They are asking anyone who sees a stranded dolphin or seal not to approach the animal but to call them on 01825 765546.
They're also appealing for people not to try covering the blowhole and to be quiet around the animal, keeping children and dogs away.
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