Whales strand again at Farewell Spit


A pod of pilot whales stranded for a second day atop the South Island is not moving well and the local DOC ranger is not optimistic about his prospects.

The whales were refloated on Monday evening from Farewell Spit base in Golden Bay.
Photo: Jonah Project

More than 40 pilot whales were refloated on Monday from Farewell Spit base in Golden Bay.

The DOC Rangers and around 50 volunteers began searching for the whales on the coast in the first light of Tuesday and the pod was found around 7 a.m.

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There were 28 whales and rangers alive, Project Jonah’s marine mammal doctors and other volunteers worked to rescue them.

About 21 whales had died.

Local DOC ranger Andrew Lamason, who coordinates the operation, said the teams had taken the whales to deeper water.

“The word coming out from there is that whales are quite languid, they don’t put much effort into swimming and it looks like we’re probably going into another dry phase of dealing with them as they take turns. at the same place. . “

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The teams grouped the whales into one group, gently rocking and reorienting them, and moving them to deeper waters in the hope that they will swim together.

“But it doesn’t look like it’s going to play out,” Lamason said.

“I don’t think we’re watching a Hollywood ending here.

“The fact that they stayed in the same position overnight, they didn’t really move, we have to be realistic about that.

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“As the hours go by, the prognosis gets worse.”

No legend

The whales were refloated on Monday.
Photo: Supplied / Jonah Project

Farewell Spit has been a frequent site of whale strandings.

The last massive pilot whales stranding on Farewell Spit dates back to February 2017, when around 600-700 whales were stranded.

About 250 died while the rest were bailed out.



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