Members of the public braved freezing seas and raging winds in a desperate attempt to save a common dolphin washed up on Goodwick beach yesterday (Thursday).

Freelance photographer, Aeron Harries from Puncheston, spotted the dolphin in shallow water while on the beach snapping Oyster Catchers.

"I suddenly noticed something flapping about, which turned out to be a dolphin about four and a half feet long." he said.

After calling for help, Aeron waded waist deep into the stormy sea and tried to aid the dolphin, which was on its side.

"I held it up so that it wouldn't drown," he said. "I thought I'd give her a fighting chance. She must have been there for a while."

Sea Trust’s Cliff Benson was alerted to the situation and raced to Goodwick sands. He strode into the sea to take over from Aeron moving the stricken animal further out as the tide receded.

"I could feel its heart pounding and did my best to reassure it,” said Cliff. “If I let go it flipped over and could not breathe so I had to hold it upright.”

Cliff contacted Terry Leadbetter of Welsh Marine Life Rescue who arrived with volunteers in dry suits.

Mr Leadbetter said the dolphin was believed to be a female common dolphin, a deep sea species which lives around 17 miles out to sea. Unfortunately it could not be saved.

"After a discussion with Stranding Co-ordinator Rod Penrose, the Department of Zoology and a vet in Dorset we reached a decision, we had to euthanise it," he said.

"When they put her down I put my hand on her head and there were tears all around,” said Aeron. She was beautiful."