Jupiter Middle School students were given this week a firsthand account of the rescue of Winter, the famous dolphin featured on the NBC Today Show, CNN, BBC, and in hundreds of newspapers around the world. Recently released in theatres, the “Dolphin Tale” movie originated with the amazing true story of Winter and the compassionate strangers who banded together to save her life. One of the rescuers was Brandon Paquin, who at the time was a First Responder to Marine Mammal strandings with Ft. Pierce’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic. Mr. Paquin spoke to hundreds of Jupiter Middle students about his background and the remarkable details about his experience with Winter.
At only 2 months old, Winter was found terribly injured and weak near Cape Canaveral, her tail torn to tatters by a crab-trap line. Few expected her to survive after losing her tail to the injury but she was later fitted with a one-of-a-kind prosthesis. Patient training led by Abby Stone at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where Winter lives, taught the extraordinary young dolphin how to use the new tail. Winter can now be viewed live via webcam at www.seewinter.com
Mr. Paquin showed a short video about the rescue and also talked with the students about how they can impact the safety of ocean mammals. “I knew at a very young age that I wanted to work with dolphins and marine life,” said Mr. Paquin, who has been rescuing marine mammals for over 20 years. “I always encourage kids to follow their instincts, pursue what interests them, and stay active in their communities.” He will join Jupiter Middle students again at Coral Cove Park for the Great American Beach Cleanup next April.
Mr. Paquin’s presentation was a gift from Ocean Rehab Initiative of West Palm to Jupiter Middle and its Treehugger’s Club due to the students’ ongoing participation in beach clean-ups and in recognition of the school’s “Green School of the Year” award from the Palm Beach County school district.
The School District’s goal is to prepare all students for academic success and we appreciate and encourage community partnerships such as this to reach that goal.
For more information please contact Carol Smykowski at Jupiter Middle School of Technology at 561-745-7200.