Floridians rescue stranded manatees as Irma sucks water from shores

As Hurricane Irma rumbled up Florida's west coast, it drained water from the state's shores, leaving residents stunned and manatees stranded. 

Some of those stunned and curious residents walked into the vast patches of sand and underwater growth that used to be the bay—a dangerous thing to do, given the water would rush back. But manatees caught on land were lucky those residents wandered out. 

SEE ALSO: Hurricane Irma is making oceans vanish before the flooding

Floridians spotted beached sea cows and helped get them back to the bay.

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One man, Marcelo Clavijo, wrote that he was one of several who came upon two stranded manatees and helped get them into water deep enough for the sea cows to swim. He wrote on Facebook that he came across the animals near Whitfield, north of Sarasota. 

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Residents managed to roll the manatees onto a green tarp — taken from the back of one of their trucks — and slide them "100 yards" to where the bay had receded, according to Clavijo's post and a Facebook message he sent.

He told a local Fox station that both manatees "swam off" once they were again surrounded by water. 

WATCH: Hurricane Irma is the most powerful storm to slam the Atlantic Ocean. Here's what you need to know.

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