Monday, 16 February 2015

New Zealand rescuers refloat 60 stranded whales

Australian Associated Press

Saturday 14 February 2015 23.02 GMT

The 60 pilot whales stranded off New Zealand’s South Island have been refloated and “it’s looking quite good”, rescuers say.

About 200 whales stranded on Farewell Spit in Golden Bay on Friday and about 140 died and the rest had been refloated.

But 60 restranded and Department of Conservation (DOC) staff and 400 volunteers worked to keep them alive on Saturday until they could be refloated at high tide in the early evening.

Lead whales were taken out on pontoons and other whales were moved to follow them, says DOC conservation services manager for Golden Bay, Andrew Lamason.

“They’re all off and the lead whales are actually now swimming into deep water and are going in the right direction,” he said.

“Our guys are moving in behind them to keep an eye on them and it’s looking quite good.”

The whales were monitored overnight on Saturday.

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