THE coastguard was called to reports of a stranded dolphin on the beach in west Cumbria.

Maryport Coastguard Rescue Team was alerted by Belfast Coastguard at 8.20am and were quickly on scene.

They located the mammal near Maryport Golf Course and contacted British Diver Marine Life Rescue who had someone in the area. RSPCA West Cumbria was also informed and assessed the animal. They identified it as a young 3ft harbour porpoise which seemed uninjured.

Maryport Coastguard said on Facebook: "Under the watchful eyes of our partner agencies two of the team, in full water rescue kit, carefully returned the mammal to the water and watched anxiously as it slowly made its way to deeper water. After a short time the mammal was seen to jump and was lost from sight.

"We'd like to thank the first informant, our colleagues from partner agencies involved and especially our colleagues in Belfast for their quick call and support that resulted in an extremely happy ending this time."