NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Watch: Gloucester Co. Deputies rescue pelican during coastal storm

Posted at 7:09 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-14 19:16:08-04

GLOUCESTER Co., Va. - Deputies braved a coastal storm Tuesday morning to help a pelican in distress.

Deputies Sean Coffey and Nelson Groom responded to a call for a large bird apparently in distress on the Coleman Bridge due to the heavy winds.

The two deputies said they needed to act quickly to help and assess the bird who could not manage to get more than a few feet off the ground each time it attempted to fly.

Deputy Coffey used a patrolman's rain coat as a blanket and covered the bird. He then carefully picked it up off the ground and began to walk the bird down off the bridge where the winds were gusting.

Deputy Groom provided a police escort and took video Deputy Coffey's descent.

Once they got to the base of the bridge the deputies assessed the pelican's condition.

Deputies said they did not see any apparent injury to the bird and felt it was just tired from trying to fly in the heavy winds.

They released the pelican around Tyndall Point Park, on the south bound side of Gloucester Point, safely behind the traffic wall.

The Pelican both scared and tired attempted flight again and landed back in the traffic lanes needing to be rescued a second time, deputies said.

After the second rescue the pelican perched himself on the jersey wall along the highway and rested.

The deputies returned about a half-hour later to check on the Pelican and he was no longer there.

It is believed by deputies that the Pelican regained his strength and flew away safely.