Dolphins, sea lions to protect US Navy sub base

The US Navy says dolphins and sea lions will be used to protect a Washington state submarine base from underwater swimmers.

AP Photo/ U.S. Navy, Brien Aho
In this handout photo from the U.S. Navy, Sergeant Andrew Garrett watches K-Dog, a bottle nose dolphin attached to Commander Task Unit 55.4.3 leaps out of the water while training near the USS Gunston Hall in the Persian Gulf on March 18, 2003. Dolphins and sea lions will be used to protect a Navy sub base in Washington state.

The Navy says dolphins and sea lions will stand guard this year at a Washington state submarine base to detect any underwater swimmers who might approach the base on Hood Canal.

The Navy is keeping security details secret, but the environmental impact statement for the project said there would be fewer than 20 animals kept in heated enclosures when not on patrol.

Marine mammals have been used as guards for years at another Trident submarine base at King's Bay, Ga.

Navy spokesman Tom LaPuzza in San Diego told the Kitsap Sun in a story Wednesday that Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions are ready to go on patrol at Bangor.

The dolphins can find an intruder and release a beacon. Sea lions can attach a cuff to a swimmer's leg.


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