The deputies, which had no special training, "just used common sense", Bristow says. "As soon as the wind shifts direction, the water will come back quickly and continue to move inland", said CNN meteorologist Judson Jones.
An official with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission said the organization received multiple reports about the stranded manatees. Michael Sechler of Sarasota, Florida, saw these stranded creatures beached where formerly there was water and took action to save them.
The receding waters in both bays are due to the low tide, Irma's lower pressure and strong bands of wind whipping the water away.
It's a phenomenon sometimes called "hurricane bulge".