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Dolphins escape icy river for open waters

A HANDFUL of dolphins in a group of 16 living in an icy New Jersey river since the summer have left for open waters, witnesses said.

The owner and several employees of a seafood restaurant said they saw three to five of the mammals swim into Sandy Hook Bay on January 15 before the Shrewsbury River froze over.

Ann Luongo, a waitress at Bahr's Landing, said she saw "two of the most beautiful dolphins jump out of the river, just like you would see at Sea World."

She said she watched the rest of the afternoon to see if the dolphins swam back into the river, as they had several times before, but they did not return.

Teri Frady, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said restaurant owner Jay Cosgrove reiterated the same account to the agency, but said she could not confirm or disprove the sighting.

The agency's spotters plan to take boats out onto the river, which was partially frozen on Friday, as soon as it was feasible to search for the dolphins.

The lack of recent dolphin sightings led to fears they had died in the icy waters. Three of the original 16 dolphins have died and the whereabouts of the others are unknown.


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