Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Sea Rescue

Sea Rescue

Spring 2015 Television
Ages: 13 - 16 yrs.
Rating: TV G

Recent 2014 episodes of the ABC Saturday morning TV show "Sea Rescue" included dramatic and heartwarming rescue stories of a seriously injured young dolphin entangled in fishing tackle lines near Marco Island, FL., and a malnourished sea lion pup found 100 miles from the Pacific near Modesto, CA.

There's plenty more where that came from: What's mind-boggling is 220 "cold-stunned" helpless Green Sea Turtles off the coast of Corpus Christi, TX. And what's heart-tugging is an orphaned newborn Harbor Seal on the beach in La Jolla, CA.

You get the idea: This program is about saving wonderful, beautiful little critters that desperately need help. In the larger world of terrible things happening and reported everyday on the front page and evening news, this is a show you should want your children to watch.

Hosted by ABC news reporter Matt Gutman, the program tells fascinating tales of the rescue, rehabilitation and, in most cases, the return of injured or distressed sea creatures to their natural habitat. Presented in conjunction with Sea World, and featuring its resourceful animal-rescue teams of marine biologists, veterinarians and animal-care experts, the half-hour show is a natural for animal lovers. But anyone, kids and adults, will be drawn in by its entertaining, educational and compelling stories that blend high-quality production and an emphasis on human values with positive and caring messages.

In the case of the injured dolphin near Marco Island, a classroom of elementary school students in Pittsburgh, on the edge of their seats, followed hours of search and rescue involving 12 boats and 30 rescuers in Florida over a live broadcast. Spoiler Alert: When the dolphin was rescued, the kids in Pittsburgh went wild with happiness.

So, yes, animals in distress might challenge your younger children…but what could be better than joining in the celebration when those animals are saved?

While Sea World's rescue teams play prominent roles in each episode, the show doesn't blatantly promote the marine-life theme park. Each blends high-action documentary video with quick interviews explaining the biology and ecology issues. And each story brims with heartfelt concern for these hurt animals, many of them endangered, that without this expert human intervention would not survive.

These are excellent lessons, all done well, in compassionate living.

Don Oldenburg   ©2015 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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