Men rush to help baby whale

2010-10-12 00:00

IT was an afternoon to forget for a baby humpbacked whale that beached after being smashed against rocks just off Uvongo Beach yesterday afternoon.

A local lifeguard saw the whale, which is only a few weeks old and raised the alarm. Before long, hundreds of residents had gathered around the injured mammal. Ten men then used shadecloth to try to lift the whale, but could not drag it through the waves.

A local diving operator, Sea Freaks, then managed to tow the whale out to sea with a ski boat. The hundreds of people who had gathered around the baby whale spontaneously applauded when it swam weakly away.

The Witness spoke to one of the Sea Freak members involved in the whale rescue, Chris Louw.

“We aren’t heroes — we just get involved when we can,” he said.

“The authorities don’t like to get involved for legal reasons; it is always the public that does.”

Louw said Sea Freaks is monitoring the whale’s condition, but that it is too early to know if it will survive.

“We saw the mom a while ago so we are hoping we can make contact with her again,” he said.

“At this stage it is too early to say whether or not it will live.”

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