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Dolphins' beaching closely followed sub's training exercises
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KEY WEST, Fla. The Navy and marine wildlife experts are checking if the use of sonar on a submarine off the Florida Keys triggered the beaching of about 70 dolphins.

The Navy won't say if sonar was used during a training exercise involving the U-S-S "Philadelphia," which is based in Connecticut. A day later the dolphins started beaching themselves. More than 20 have died.

Some scientists say that loud bursts of sonar, which can be heard for miles in the water, may disorient or scare marine mammals. They say it could cause them to surface too quickly and suffer the equivalent of what divers know as the bends -- when sudden decompression forms nitrogen bubbles in tissue.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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