A NINE-month-old dolphin that had to be rescued after getting stranded twice at Lilley's Beach this week has been transported to Sea World on the Gold Coast.
The dependent bottlenose calf is now undergoing checks by Sea World's rescue team but without its mother they say it's unlikely the dolphin will be released back into open waters.
In a rare stroke of luck for the wayward dolphin, the Cattermole family first came across it after heading out to Lilley's Beach for a bit of holiday fun.
Eight-year old Louis was the first to spot the struggling dolphin at 11.30am before he rolled up his sleeves and got to work trying to free the distressed animal.
After considerable effort Louis and his dad Barrie took the dolphin by the tail and dragged it out past the small breaking waves to deeper water where it took off.
"It felt like wet rubber and I grabbed it by the tail so I didn't pull its flipper," Louis said.
"We tried to keep him upright but he was very heavy and really strong. He was tensing his muscles."
Louis said he had nicknamed the dolphin, Beachy.
But unfortunately it didn't take long for Beachy to return.
"When it came back it looked a lot worse than before," Barrie said.
"We got in contact with the ranger and stayed with the dolphin and tried to point it out to sea and keep it covered with water.
"The second time we probably took it out a bit too far and it was gone within seconds," he said.
The dolphin was first spotted on Monday morning and is reportedly the only dolphin to be stranded in the Gladstone region this year.
Sea World's rescue team said there was no good explanation why the dolphin had continually stranded itself.
A light plane was charted for the trip with Sea World staff monitoring the dolphin throughout the journey.
After Louis' champion efforts he is now considering a career in marine rescue.