FAU employee fired after dolphin rescue

No decision was made in the Tuesday, April 29 grievance hearing for Steve McCulloch, founder and program manager of FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute’s Marine Mammal Research and Conservation program. At the meeting, witnesses made statements on McCulloch’s behalf and now have 10 days to file affidavits.

McCulloch was fired on Feb. 14 after a dolphin rescue in Vero Beach.

According to witnesses, when McCulloch arrived at the scene on Dec. 28, people were surrounding the dolphin. McCulloch urged people to step back as he tried to call his supervisor.

According to McCulloch, while waiting for a response from his supervisor, lightning forced him to move the dolphin to a nearby pool in the Sea Oaks housing complex in order to get both the dolphin and bystanders off of the beach.

On Jan. 6, FAU received a letter from the National Marine Fisheries Service stating that McCulloch went against regulations by putting the animal in the pool.

McCulloch was suspended from his position at FAU and later fired.