Storm survivors help save manatees stranded by Hurricane Irma

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SARASOTA, Fla. — When Hurricane Irma hit South Florida on Sunday, strong winds blowing from the northeast pushed water out of shallow parts of bays and harbors along the Gulf Coast.

The shorelines drained as if the water had been sucked away, leaving two manatees stranded in what looked like a muddy field.

Michael Sechler wrote on Facebook that he and his friends spotted the manatees stranded near Sarasota, Florida.

“My friends and I couldn’t move these massive animals ourselves, and we called every service we could think of, but no one answered. We gave them as much water as we could, hoping the rain and storm surge come soon enough to save them,” Sechler wrote.

The friends tried to clear away mud from one of the animal’s face and tried to fill the small area with water.

The group of friends used tarps to try to move the animals back into the water.

Their call for help was eventually answered by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. Two deputies from the sheriff’s office helped the citizens get the manatees to safety.