Whale beaches after rescue attempt

2013-03-26 09:15
One of the pilot whales that died after beaching at Noordhoek, Cape Town. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

One of the pilot whales that died after beaching at Noordhoek, Cape Town. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

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Only two of 19 beached whales survive

2013-03-25 09:57

Rescuers and marine conservationists in Cape Town spent Sunday frantically trying to save 19 beached whales. WATCH

Cape Town - One of five pilot whales released into the sea on Sunday afternoon has re-beached, the National Sea Rescue Institute said on Tuesday.

"The one beached again, that is the fourth one, on the False Bay coast. It had to be put down," spokesperson Craig Lambinon said.

"The fifth one appears to still be at sea."

However, The Star reports that it had re-beached and was killed.

The pod of 19 pilot whales, mostly adults, beached at Noordhoek Beach in Cape Town on Sunday morning. A twentieth whale had managed to swim back into the surf.

Nine whales that were in poor health were euthanized on the beach. Another five died naturally.

Five others were transported to the Simon's Town naval base and taken out to sea. Three of them re-beached on Long Beach late on Sunday night and were euthanized.

Authorities involved in the operation meanwhile, will meet next week to discuss how to improve their methods, the Cape Times reported on Tuesday.

Environment department official Mike Meyer, of the Ocean and Coast branch, said the meeting would include volunteers, and city and law enforcement officials.

"There is always room for improvement. We'll look at the things that didn't go well," he said.

Meyer said one of the "hitches" of the operation was the number of people that had come to the beach.

Reaction time had been affected by a number of factors, including that not all emergency services staff were immediately available as it was a Sunday. According to the report, logistics regarding rescue vehicles and equipment had also been tricky.
Read more on:    cape town  |  marine life

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