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Boats search for ‘tired’ dolphin Fungie ‘missing’ almost a week


Fisher folk and Fungie-watchers are hoping a change in the wind to the southwest may bring the famous bottlenose back to Dingle Harbour.

He has now been “missing” from the area for almost a week.

Fungie-watchers since 1991 Jeannine Masset and Rudi Schamhart, who raised the alert on Thursday, said “it is really very hard on everyone”.

“Needless to say that we are heartbroken but also over-exhausted for we did not sleep in four days,” they wrote on their ‘Fungie Forever’ Facebook page.

They took some criticism for raising the alarm, but now most Fungie-watchers have accepted the gravity of the situation and Dolphin tour boats and other vessels are out searching.

Besides the search they have been responding to hundreds of messages.

They raised the alert he was missing and told Dingle Boat Tours’ Tom Hand and Mary and Mike O’Neill, who took them on a long search to places they could not go with their own small boat.

Their last photo of Fungie was posted on Saturday, October 10th and one the previous day shows him taking a short cut close to the cliffs in the harbour.

They also reported their belief that he looked tired on October 7th. “It was very clear the last weeks that Fungie was tired of the busy season. His whole behaviour showed that,” they say.

Jimmy Flannery of Dingle Sea Seafari Tours, a founder member of the fishermen’s group which set up the Fungie tours in 1989 said in his 33 years running trips to Fungie, four to five hours a day, this “is the most he has gone missing in 37 years of being in Dingle”.

Mr Flannery said he believes the “easterly wind” is a factor as he is always less active at such times.

He also thinks there is rich feeding outside the harbour at this time and Fungie may have gone out for food.

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