Posted by: The ocean update | June 5, 2016

Beached whale helped back into ocean after people kept it moist (New Zealand)

It was a real team effort (Picture : Facebook/Project Jonah New Zealand)

It was a real team effort (Picture : Facebook/Project Jonah New Zealand)

June 5th, 2016 (Harley Tamplin). A beached whale (Ed Sibylline : false killer whale) was helped back into the ocean after members of the public had helped to keep the animal moist.

Rescuers cheered as the stranded false killer whale swam back into the sea at Waimairi Beach in Christchurch, New Zealand.

About 200 people had earlier gathered on the beach to try to help the whale back in the water.

Some formed a human chain to carry buckets of water that were thrown over the creature, and medics wrapped it in towels and sheets to stop the sun from blistering its skin.

The whale was one of two to wash up on the beach, but the other had already died by the time people descended on the area to help out.

Project Jonah, an organisation that cares for whales, dolphins and seals, said on Facebook that they had sent help.

It said : ‘We currently have enough help and further medics are on standby for this afternoon if a refloat is attempted.

‘This is only the third ever record of a false killer whale stranding in the South Island with the last one being in 1984.

‘A trench has been dug and a refloat attempt will be made this afternoon.’

Department of Conservation ranger Craig Alexander told Stuff.co.nz that the refloat had been a success.

He said : ‘The Coastguard was watching it for quite a while until it disappeared and they were not able to find it again. It was diving and showing behaviour that it should.

An adult female, found about 500 metres away from the younger whale, was already dead. Photo Alden Williams/Fairfax NZ

An adult female, found about 500 metres away from the younger whale, was already dead. Photo Alden Williams/Fairfax NZs

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