Bystanders helped a young dolphin stuck onshore near Imperial Beach Boulevard back to the ocean around 5:30 p.m. Monday, Imperial Beach lifeguard dispatch said.
Lifeguards responded to the call but by the time they were able to respond the dolphin was back in the water. IB lifeguards call SeaWorld's Animal Rescue Team when large marine life are beached.
IB Patch photographer Paul Gallegos was walking his dog at the time and saw a group of eight or nine people lend the dolphin a hand after it thrashed around in shallow sand for about a minute.
At -0.03 ft., the tide was at its lowest point Monday around the time of the incident.
It took the group about five minutes to nudge the dolphin which didn't appear to be more than 200 lbs. back in the water, he said.
"They didn't drag it or anything. They just waited for a wave then pushed it in," he said.