At 20h30, Friday, 11th December, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were activated following reports from the public of an Orca whale beached on Robberg Beach.
NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew dispatched a sea rescue Quad Bike and rescue vehicle and on arrival on the scene an Orca whale, believed to be a juvenile, approximately 6 meters in length, was found on the beach and members of the public were assisting to throw water on the Orca.
The Orca is believed to be the same whale that has been seen in Plettenberg Bay, swimming close inshore, over the past few days.
Using water buckets the whale was kept wet and it appeared healthy and the NSRI’s efforts were assisted by concerned members of the public that were on the scene helping as much as possible.
An NSRI Plettenberg Bay crew member, studying Marine Biology, consulted with the Department of Environment – Oceans and Coasts, Mike Meyer, and a local wildlife Vet was placed on alert.
Efforts were made to get the whale into the water but on each attempt the whale re-beached. Efforts were hampered by the Spring low tide.
The rescue crew were then able to get the whale into a gully of water which assisted in the efforts to keep the whale wet and despite the low tide in small wave action the sea rescue crew were able to get the whale into deeper water and they then swum with the whale, holding onto the whale, to coax the whale into deeper water.
The whale continued to try to head back to the beach and rescue crew formed a line in the water, between the whale and the beach, gently slapping the water in an effort to discourage the whale from re beaching, while additional sea rescue crew pointed the whale in the direction of deeper water while holding onto the whale and trying to prevent it from turning around.
It appears that the efforts to save the whale have been successful.
The beach was monitored into the night and this morning, Saturday, the whale has been seen swimming along the beach front and a member of the public has also reported seeing the whale feeding.
We are cautiously optimistic that the efforts are successful and we must thank the public members who joined in the efforts last night.
Lifeguards and NSRI will continue to monitor the beach and keep a lookout for the whale.
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