NSRI Mykonos battled to save beached whale today

NSRI volunteers trying to get the whale back into deep water. Photo: NSRI/Flickr

NSRI volunteers trying to get the whale back into deep water. Photo: NSRI/Flickr

NSRI Mykonos and some fishermen battled for around four hours trying to get a beached beak whale back into the deep sea today. 

Five attempts were made to coax, push and encourage the whale out to sea. But the whale kept re-beaching and only after a sixth try did the whale dive below the water and disappear. 

Gerard Brune, NSRI Mykonos station commander, said:  at 10.55 am, 7 September, NSRI Mykonos volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following reports of a whale beached at St Helena Bay harbour, North of Saldanha Bay.

 “Our duty crew launched our sea rescue craft and joined a member of Wildlife Rescue to see if anything could be done to return the whale to sea. On arrival we found a beaked whale, semi stranded, appearing to be in poor health, with some scratches and cuts, from unknown causes, but still alive. Efforts were made to push the whale out to sea.

 “Two fishermen also assisted. The Department of Environmental Affairs – Oceans and Coasts was also alerted and advice was given by them.

 “At times the whale got caught between the harbour quay and strenuous manual effort was made to turn it around in the water to face out to sea in order for us to push the whale to deeper waters. On a sixth attempt, at around 3.45 pm, while we maneuvered the whale past rocks and into deeper water, it dived and disappeared.

 “We continued to monitor the area for over an hour but the whale appears to have ‘gone’. We are hopeful that it has returned to sea and does not beach again.

 “The coastline will continue to be monitored and we remain on alert. It was a big effort to try to save the whale. “

Brune adds they feel they hae succeeded but are also cautiously optimistic.

 He also says it unknown what caused whales to beach. It may have beene poor health. Also the species of this beaked whale has not yet been determined.

(edited)

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