Rescuers have returned a dolphin washed up on a south Cornwall beach to the sea.
The juvenile bottlenose dolphin was discovered at Par beach at about 10am yesterday.
The 4 – 5 ft mammal was found floating upside down by two ladies who leapt into the water to save it from drowning.
David Smethurst, who captured this photograph of the rescue, said the women spent more than two hours in the water keeping the stranded dolphin upright.
Others also rushed to help the dolphin, while one of the ladies kept the mammal calm by talking to it.
A vet and volunteers from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) were scrambled to the beach.
An examination showed the animal was uninjured and it was placed on a stretcher and returned to the sea.
Mr Smethurst said: “It took it a while to get its confidence back but when it finally swam out to sea we were all cheering. It was quite emotional. I am a tough meat worker and I had tears streaming down my face".
“The British Divers Marine team did a superb job and the two ladies Marion and Debby, saved its life without a doubt; they really are heroes", he added.