THE RSPCA and members of Chichester Harbour Board spent an anxious few hours watching a beached dolphin.
Early on Friday morning the common dolphin was spotted in the shallows in Bosham Hoe, Chichester Harbour, after the tide went out.
It appeared to be stuck and had become distressed.
The RSPCA had a vet on standby in case it got too unwell and had to be put down.
But by Saturday it had disappeared once the tide went in.
It is thought to be the first dolphin spotted in Chichester Harbour for more than a decade.
Richard Austin, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty manager at Chichester Harbour Conservancy, tweeted this picture of the animal.
Chichester Harbour Master Richard Craven said: ‘It’s not a common sight. In the past 15 years there’s been a couple of porpoises and even a whale, but I think this is the first dolphin.
‘So it’s not unprecedented but it’s certainly uncommon.’