Dolphin rescue worker: 'We need more volunteers'
Brown, left and Mackey are working to save nearly 50 stranded dolphins.
Looking for links between a dolphin beaching and sub sonar.
Volunteers try to save dolphins stranded off a Florida Key this week.
Dolphin volunteer hotline: (305)-451-4774
KEY LARGO, Florida (CNN) -- Rescue workers and volunteers are working to keep nearly 50 dolphins alive after they beached themselves off the Florida Keys last week. Lloyd Brown, vice president of the Marine Mammal Conservancy, and Carrie Mackey, a volunteer helping with the rehabilitation of the dolphins, spoke with CNN's Soledad O'Brien on the rescue effort.
O'BRIEN: Carrie, You're 21 years old. You're on spring break from school. Give me a sense of how you happened to volunteer for this massive undertaking?
MACKEY: Actually, I had heard about it before we came down here, and we knew some people down in Key Largo. So we came and stayed with them and met a guy that had been doing it. So he told us about it, and he didn't think we'd come. And we came, and it's been awesome.
O'BRIEN: What exactly are you doing, Carrie?
MACKEY: I'm in the pool with the dolphins. There's two moms and a little baby in there. I keep them wet, check their heartbeat and keep them company in there.
O'BRIEN: Lloyd, as we mentioned, there's a number of volunteers who are helping out, many who don't have any experience. How are you training some of these volunteers who have never been in a tank before with dolphins?
BROWN: Each person that comes in right off the street, we give them the basic training of how to stay safe around the animal and how not to hurt the animal. If they wish to continue working with us, we'll go ahead and give them more training in how to actually respond to strandings.
O'BRIEN: How many volunteers do you have right now?
BROWN: We're trying to maintain at least 30 volunteers per shift for eight shifts a day. So we just had our first shift that we actually couldn't staff enough people. And we're only a week into it. So the novelty is kind of wearing off.
O'BRIEN: How concerned are you about that, that even a week in and still getting media coverage, frankly, and you're still losing some folks who maybe were coming out at the beginning of the week?
BROWN: It's pretty alarming. In past strandings that we've had, we go two to three weeks into a stranding before we actually started having trouble filling shifts. To be only a week into it and not be able to fill a shift indicates we might be having a problem here. We need more volunteers.
O'BRIEN: Some 25 dolphins have not been able to survive. How optimistic are you both that you're going to be able to save the remaining several dozen of them?
BROWN: Well, there's still a few in here that are not as stable as we'd like. There are still some that may not make it. We're going to do everything we can to insure that all of those who can make it do.
But then I would say, easily two-thirds of them are in good enough shape that we're hopeful about releasing them back into the wild.