DAVE THE DOLPHIN @ SANDGATE, KENT
DOLPHIINS SYMBOLISE FREEDOM, JOY, GRACE and SERENITY the WORLD OVER.
Dave is a friendly Dolphin who turned up in Sandgate, Kent around Easter time in 2006 on a sunny April day. He was not alone, bringing with him two Dolphin friends which were seen near Granville Parade, very close to the beach - how else were they spotted.
Dave the dolphin boosts trade at seaside town
Folkestone has seen a boom in business after hundreds of people have flocked to the south coast to see the rare sight. A deep-sea dolphin that has spent the summer ‘performing’ for visitors at a seaside town has boosted trade and extended the holiday season.
The bottlenose dolphin - nicknamed Dave by conservationists - has been swimming along the reef just 30m from the beach at Sandgate, since April and is still attracting more than 150 visitors a day.
The playful mammal, with a distinctive yellow patch on its fin, has been entertaining beach-goers since it was first spotted splashing about, and a website devoted to him has received 302,000 hits in October alone.
A Chamber of Commerce spokesmen for the town said: “We would have expected a drop in trade by now but it hasn't happened. "Along with the mild weather, Dave has been a real boost for Folkestone." Experts say the dolphin, with a dark blue nose, is feeding from mackerel.
Conservationist Jason Carter, from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue group, said: "He's looking in good health. He's been feeding and jumping out of the sea, so he's been looking quite good."
"Bottlenose dolphins live around the British coast but are usually found in pods of up to 12 further out to sea. They can dive down 1,000 feet and jump 20 feet above the water.
"It's actually quite rare to see them this close. We are assuming it is a male because normally dolphins swim in a pod, but sometimes males peel off for a while and go off on their own, before going back."
Caroline Chambers, manager of Channel Chamber of Commerce, said Dave had been an asset to the town and even livened up a conference for 1,000 business people in September.
She said: "These things can be a bit boring but Dave was performing for all the delegates, who were watching from the Leas Cliff Hall overlooking the bay."
Angler Simon Chandler, who set up the website, is now selling T-shirts, caps and stamps to visitors.
Any proceeds after the site costs have been covered are to be donated to the charity British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
Wednesday, 4 October 2006 - Dolphin 'at risk from being tame'
A dolphin that has become a tourist attraction off the Kent coast could be injured or die because of the attention being lavished upon it.
Dave has become a frequent sight in past months, swimming along the reef between Folkestone and Seabrook.
Conservationists said if Dave became tame, looked to people for contact and lost his fear of boats, he would be in danger from sea vessels.
Last month, police urged people to stay at least 100m away from the mammal.
Mark Simmons, of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, said that watching Dave from the shore was not a problem.
But he said: "The problem is when people get in the water and when boats go out to sea, because these solitary dolphins tend to become habituated and tame.
"Once they become tame they lose their natural fear.
"They then start to look to us to provide their social contact and their entertainment and this just leads them into trouble.
"In particular they tend to get struck by boat propellers and that is not something that they are going to come well out of."
Kent Police asked people to keep their distance after receiving reports that Jet Skiers, kayakers and other people in motorised boats were getting too close to Dave.
People were also not to approach, grab, touch or try to swim with him.
This week, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and British Divers Marine Life Rescue said solitary, friendly dolphins were growing in number around the coast and were hugely popular.
But they said: "Not surprisingly, people will often flock in large numbers to see them, feed them or swim with them.
"Sadly, the fate of these solitary dolphins is usually not a happy one and it is often the attention from people that leads to their injury and eventual death."
Dave the dolphin
The good news is, you
won’t need any special equipment to see him, though binoculars might be
a good idea and perhaps a camera if you want a souvenir. Dave sometimes
seen quite close to the shore, so you could be lucky and not need special
CAUTION: advise to mariners
If you're at sea and are fortunate to this beautiful animal:-
Many People swim in the area and some are fortunate to be approached by the dolphin. However, there are safety fears and no one can predict mood swings. Even though there have been no untoward incidents to report. However, it's best if you don't take chances. Dave is a wild animal and is best left alone, especially now he's a celebrity like Flipper in these parts. Another point to consider it that the water is deep and tidal, when even strong swimmers could find themselves in difficulty.
Sandgate is a wonderful coastal village, just on the edge of Folkestone in Kent.
Look for Marine Parade, Folkestone and continue through to the Lower Sandgate Road. There is good parking except on Sundays when the local Market attracts extra vehicles. The beachfront at Granville Parade is the only sensible access for cars. This is popular with boaters who launch and retrieve small angling and pleasure craft outside the Folkestone Rowing Club.
Location: United Kingdom
Grid ref: TR225354
Postcode district: CT20 2XX
Lat: 51:04:31N (51.0754)
Lon: 1:10:32E (1.1755)
Map of Sandgate: www.multimap.com/map/
Tuesday, 26 September 2006 - Kayakers harassing 'dolphin Dave'
A dolphin that is regularly seen swimming in the English Channel and along the reef off Kent has been harassed by kayakers.
Dave has been living off Folkestone for the past few months and is often seen swimming between the town and Seabrook.
But there have been reports of jet skiers, kayakers and motorised boats getting too close to him.
Police urged people to keep their distance after kayakers were seen harassing Dave on Tuesday.
They said no-one should go within 100m of the dolphin.
And people have been warned not to approach, grab, touch or try to swim with him.
Pc Andy Small said: "Dolphins are well loved creatures and very friendly towards humans.
"However, they are wild animals and should be treated with respect."
Dolphins are protected by law and recklessly or intentionally harassing them could lead to prosecution, officers have said.
Kent Police said the force Marine Unit would take action against anyone who annoyed Dave.
Tuesday, 29 August 2006, - Survey reveals dolphin sightings increasing
An encouraging number of harbour porpoises have been spotted around the coast of Devon and Cornwall.
The National Whale and Dolphin Watch said sightings had been particularly good off north Devon.
The Sea Watch Foundation, which carries out a survey every year around the UK, says several bottlenose dolphins have also been seen.
The survey included the sighting of a 20-strong pod of common dolphins near the Isles of Scilly.
The foundation says maintaining a record of the whale and dolphin population can help to provide a warning of potential problems in the marine environment.
About 28 species of whales and dolphins have been recorded in the past century in UK waters.
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A deep-sea dolphin that has spent the summer ‘performing’ for visitors at a seaside town has boosted trade and extended the holiday season.
A dolphin that is regularly seen swimming in the English Channel and along the reef off Kent has been harassed by kayakers. Dave has been living off ...
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A dolphin living off the Kent coast has extended the holiday season by attracting 150 visitors a day.
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Dusty Dave the Dolphin is a 1972 Volkswagon Bug that has been transformed into a sea mammal. However, don't get confused this is not a Frankestinian effort to create life, just a vehicle art project, not a real Dolphin at all, a project that was conceived and characterized by Penny Smith and Harry Leverette. These guys commissioned Tom Kennedy as the sculptor who created the art work. Shelley Buschur and Penny Smith assisted. Gordon Gunn is Dusty Dave's designated driver. Dusty Dave is now the official mascot for the Texas Surfrider Foundation. www.artcars.com
Dusty Dave limbering up
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Natural History Learn about the range, behavior, and life span of bottlenose dolphins as well as other members of the delphinid family.
Anatomy See labeled body parts of a dolphin inside and out on a detailed diagram.
Physiology Find out how dolphins have adapted their bodies to the harsh ocean. Descriptions of dolphin organs and biological systems.
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