First responders rescue manatee stranded in St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Florida wildlife officials and first responders joined forces Wednesday afternoon to rescue a manatee that stranded itself in the mud in St. Augustine.

The female manatee, which measured nine feet and weighed an estimated 1,000 pounds, got stuck during low tide in a shallow, muddy area of the Matanzas River off Ocean Avenue and east of San Marco Avenue.

According to the St. Augustine Police Department, the 9-foot manatee was at first found upside down. Fortunately, someone stepped in to tend to the manatee until officials could relocate it.

Any Moscoso stepped in to help and said it was his first time rescuing a manatee.

"I felt really bad looking at the poor thing," Moscoso said. "It definitely looked like it was not happy."

Nadia Gordon with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said it's an area where manatees often mate and get stranded.

“She will beach herself in order to avoid the males," Gordon said. "In some instances when the tide goes out, they get stranded."

Using a stretcher, several firefighters and wildlife officials were able to hoist the manatee into deeper waters and it swam away.

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