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Flip it Popular Cornwall dolphin Nick dies near Cork Harbour after being hit by boat

In August, he was filmed swimming and interacting with young people in Hayle harbour before returning to Irish waters

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Nick was filmed swimming in Cornwall in August

Nick was filmed swimming in Cornwall in August

Nick was filmed swimming in Cornwall in August

A popular dolphin that went viral after he was spotted swimming with people off Cornwall has been found dead near Cork Harbour. 

Nick the dolphin's carcass was identified by his markings and scars.

The bottlenose dolphin had been filmed playing in the water with delighted children and paddle boarders as other tourists watched on at Hayle Harbour in Cornwall last month.

However, the footage prompted marine conservation groups British Divers Marine Life Rescue and Marine Connection to warn of the dangers to both the dolphin and humans, as 'solitary social' dolphins have been known to injure people, as well as get injured or killed by boat strikes themselves.

‘Nick’ was first identified in waters off the Isles of Scilly in June last year.

He was then seen a handful of times off the southern coast of Ireland between April and July of this year, before returning to the Isles of Scilly.

In August, he was filmed swimming and interacting with young people in Hayle harbour before returning to Irish waters.

On September 12, a bottlenose dolphin carcass was reported to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's Strandings Scheme from Roaches Point in Cork Harbour, which was later confirmed to be Nick due to a distinctive scar on his beak and the unique markings on his dorsal fin.

The injuries he sustained are consistent with being struck by a boat, according to the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR).

Liz Sandeman, who leads the Marine Connection's social solitary dolphin project said: “We urge the public to follow strict guidance when in an area that a social solitary dolphin is known to frequent.

“People should not attempt to interact with the marine mammal, as this causes habituation and as we have stressed repeatedly in this type of situation, causes the dolphin to lose its natural wariness around humans and boat traffic and often, as in this case, leads to its demise.”

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Dan Jarvis, from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), an international marine animal rescue organisation and charity based in the UK, said: "Nick's death so soon after he became prolific a few short weeks ago just goes to show that there is still a lot of work to be done in raising awareness to the public of how to act around wildlife.

"Although he will inevitably become just another statistic and case study, we can at least use what has happened to him right now to help get more people to understand why it is important that they listen to the continual messaging organisations like ourselves put out for following a proper code of conduct for wildlife interactions and stop this happening repeatedly, leaving us to pick up the pieces."

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