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Strangers unite for manatee rescue on Naples beach

Posted: 11:11 PM, Jun 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-18 14:32:45Z

NAPLES, Fla.,-- Nearly 18 strangers worked together to save two manatees who were suffocating on the beach, Thursday. One family says it took them over two and a half hours to roll the manatees back to the sea at Clam Pass Park. 

“I was sore, I wouldn’t even go that hard in a gym," said Amanda Luebke, one of the people that helped roll the manatees back to safety. 

Luebke says while she worked with the adults to move the "400 to 500 pound" manatees, her two kids dug up sand underneath to create a tunnel to the water. 

"I literally had to run like 20 minutes to get a shovel, then come back," said Amanda's 9-year-old stepson, Kyson. "I kept saying if I die, the manatee dies.” 

The family tells Fox 4, the group called Florida Fish and Wildlife, but they weren't able to get someone out quick enough.

The group was able to get both manatees back to the ocean to swim off.