Residents rescue manatees stranded by Irma

Two manatees are rescued from Sarasota Bay when the water receded

We can't attest to the safety of all manatees, but a couple have been returned to the ocean after being beached on shore in an inspirational, hands on rescue.

In advance of Hurricane Irma's approach to the Florida Gulf Coast, onshore winds pushed the water out of the bays leaving an eerie-looking expanse of puddled land where a choppy bay previously stood.

They ended up at a bay on Whitfield Avenue and USA 41 in Sarasota where the water had receded leading the local wildlife stranded.

A man named Michael Sechler wrote on Facebook that he and his friends spotted two manatees stranded near Sarasota.

The manatees didn't have to wait for the rain and storm surge, however, as a large group of animal lovers gathered to roll the massive manatees onto tarps and drag them about 100 yards through knee-deep mud to reach the water.

Two manatees are rescued from Sarasota Bay when the water receded
Two manatees are rescued from Sarasota Bay when the water receded

The Facebook post has been liked more than 63,000 times and has more than 49,000 shares on the social media site.

When helped back to deeper waters, both manatees "swam off", Clavijo told Fox 13.

"So we took off our shoes and walked out through the shells to find two beached manatees", Sechler said.

The Bradenton Herald said that people should not attempt to move manatees themselves because they are protected at the state and federal levels. "We couldn't just let those manatees die out there".

The post was seen by Manatee County police and the Florida and Wildlife Conservation Commission who turned up to the area and rescued the animals.

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