Pilot Whale returned to the sea

33 - Breede Rescuer - 2

Theo Erasmus, NSRI Witsand station commander, said:

At 14h50, Saturday, 04 February, NSRI Witsand duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from the Department of Environmental Affairs – Oceans and Coasts reporting a young adult Pilot Whale beached 200 meters from the Witsand main beach.

Local Cape Nature Conservation rangers had been informed of the beaching.

On arrival on the scene we found members of the public assisting Cape Nature rangers and our NSRI crew assisted to carry the whale into shallow water but despite numerous attempts to re-float the whale during the low tide the whale continued to strand itself on the beach.

At 15h41 the sea rescue craft Breede Rescuer was launched and using a harness the whale was floated into the surf-line where we rafted the whale to our sea rescue craft and gently motored approximately a nautical mile off-shore where the whale was released and the whale appeared to swim off confidently, appearing healthy.

We are cautiously optimistic that the operation was a success and we commend all who assisted in the operation – members of the public, Cape Nature and NSRI witsand.

The shoreline will continue to be monitored over the next few days to see if the whale beaches again.



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