A FISHERMAN has spoken of his successful mission to rescue a dolphin which became trapped by a buoy.

Will Chellingworth, 33, said it was the first time he has saved an animal in this way and that it struck him as a “now or never” moment.

It comes after the dolphin, which was feared to be Dorset’s much-loved Danny the bottlenose, had been observed in Swanage by The British Divers Marine Life Rescue on Wednesday.

The organisation said it had received mixed reports about the creature, with some claiming it was entangled and others saying it was not.

While one witness said the dolphin was seen “swimming round and round” and seemed to be “thrashing about more”, marine rescuers said the sea conditions were not safe enough and that they would have to wait until the next day to rescue the mammal.

Since Will braved the rough waters to carry out the rescue, it is now believed the sea creature is swimming the waters freely.

Father-of-four Will, who is also a beekeeper, said: “I was walking along the beach in Swanage and noticed lots of people around the pier with hi-vis jackets on. I thought there must be something quite significant happening. When the waves calmed down, I launched a dinghy and stuck the engine on.

“I motored across the sea while about 25 to 30 people on the pier, including the British Divers Marine Life Rescue Team, directed me to where the dolphin was. I stopped the engine as I got closer to him to save him any more distress and undid the mooring buoy, which belonged to Swanage Sailing Club, from the dolphin. He swam off but then I realised I didn’t cut it off, so I went back with a knife to cut the buoy off so he didn’t get tangled again. It was a bit of a struggle as the tide kept coming through. Sometimes I had to wait for it to pass. I’ve never done anything like it before.”

He added: “It took me about half an hour to rescue him from when I left the beach. I’m not really proud of myself, it is just something that had to be done - it was either now or never. It’s quite good that people appreciate something I have done.”

The friendly dolphin known as Danny is popular in Dorset and has been a regular feature around Weymouth and Portland Harbour in particular.