Heroic Florida Residents Help Rescue Manatees Stranded by Irma

East County's Nina Toby James and Noah Klepek gather their belongings before entering an emergency shelter at Carlos E. Haile Middle School

Several good Samaritans jumped into action after Irma sucked the water from Sarasota Bay leaving several manatees stranded and in need of help.

Forecasters warned gawkers to stay clear of the exposed beach, warning that at least 10 to 15-feet of a "life-threatening storm surge" could return at any moment, according to the U.S. Hurricane Center.

A full-grown manatee can weigh in the neighborhood of 1,000 pounds, so moving one is no small task.

"We actually reached out to some friends who work for the county that ended up going out there and rescuing them", Michael Sechler, one of the passersby who discovered the manatees, told HuffPost.

Clavijo and the others rolled the large marine mammals up in a tarp and carried them a 100 yards to a place where they could enter the water once more, Clavijo explained in his Facebook post about the rescue.

A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter
A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter

Local Floridian, Marcelo Clavejo, was feeling restless because of the storm and happened to check out the bay when he noticed the helpless manatees.

Marcelo Clavijo posted on Facebook that he and his friends were getting restless holed up waiting for Hurricane Irma to arrive, so they chose to explore the area Sunday afternoon one last time before the storm hits. Clavijo wrote on Facebook that he came across the sea cows after he was getting "stir crazy" from the storm. "I thought they (manatees) were done for", he said.

The manatees were spotted in an area that is usually filled with water.

"We just let nature take its course", she said.

"It shows what people can do when they come together".

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