UPDATE: Officials believe manatees safely escaped retention area
Mother, calf stuck in retention area since after Hurricane Dorian
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – ***6:17 p.m. 9/11/19***
Crews are working to put panels back into place at a retention area at Halifax Harbor Marina, after a representative with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced they believe two trapped manatees were able to get out safely.
Daytona Beach city officials said crews could rescue a manatee and her calf that have been stranded near a marina as early as Wednesday afternoon.
According to officials, the city will spend around $10,000 for crews to try to remove or slide up two panels of a barrier wall to let the manatees out.
A barge arrived around 11 a.m. Wednesday to help remove a panel at Halifax Marina to free the mother and her calf.
Officials with Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said while the panel is removed the plan is to isolate the manatees away from where the work is happening.
The pair has been trapped behind the Halifax Harbor Marina since Thursday due to Hurricane Dorian.
Barge has arrived to help remove a panel here at Halifax Marine. @MyFWClife says two manatees likely got stuck in enclosure after Hurricane Dorian so they're working to make a path for mother and calf to get out.... pic.twitter.com/F5IEw8uPcH— Clay LePard (@ClayLePardNews6) September 11, 2019
City officials said the wall's support piles are driven more than 26 feet below the surface of the riverbed. The vinyl sheets are driven about 15 feet below the surface, and the purpose of the catch basin is to hold sediment so it doesn't get released into the Halifax River, city officials said.
People packed the area off Beach Street to watch the two sea cows that can't get over the wall due to the low tide.
The manatee and her calf were eating lettuce that someone had thrown into the water, but News 6 was told the marine mammals are surviving on algae.
"I feel sorry for her," Shirley Kaler said. "They need to cut or they need to get cranes out here to lift that baby and the mother out."
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