Two beached whales rescued

2010-06-03 08:33

Two whales were rescued and returned to sea after they were found

beached on Muizenberg’s Surfers Corner in Cape Town.

The female whales, a 2.8m adult and a 1.6m juvenile Pigmy Sperm,

were found beached about 50m apart from each other at 8.30pm yesterday, said

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

“Using whale stretchers, both whales were loaded onto NSRI 4x4

rescue vehicles and transported by road to Simonstown harbour, escorted by the

Cape Town traffic officers.

“The whales were kept wet with wet ambulance blankets. Noise was

kept to a minimum to keep the whales as calm as possible,” said Lambinon.

On arrival in Simonstown harbour, the whales were loaded onto a

boat which was escorted to sea by two NSRI rescue craft.

All of the craft involved in the operation were put off in order to

minimise the noise and afford the whales the opportunity to communicate with

each other once released from the boat, he said.

Rescue swimmers were deployed into the water to assist with the

release of the whales.

“After their release, it appears that both whales swam away

comfortably and it was confirmed that they remained together.”

Lambinon said it was too early to say if the whales would survive,

but he added that everyone involved was confident that the whales had been given

every opportunity “to survive this ordeal”.

It was not known what caused them to beach.

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