September 2nd, 2016. A whale was lucky there were people watching his activity around the bay in Point Leamington this morning.
As it turned out the whale would need some assistance from some of its observers.
The Advertiser hasn’t been able to reach any of the rescuers for comment, but according to people who watched the incident, the whale had just been swimming in the bay for much of the morning, then suddenly swam up onto the beach.
Several of the people who had been watching lent a hand to get it back to open water.
Update : Ryan Peddle couldn’t have expected his regular trip for gas was going to turn into an icy wade in the Atlantic and the memory of a lifetime – and he got it on video to boot.
“There’s no gas station here (in Leading Tickles) so this morning I was heading up to get some gas and I took it in my head to take the video camera,” the 21 year old told the Advertiser Thursday evening. “You never know what you’re going to see.”
What he saw in neighbouring Point Leamington was a group of people along the waterfront watching a whale in the bay shortly before noon.
“I’ve never seen a whale in Point Leamington before,” he added. “Not like in Leading Tickles where we’re right out in the ocean and we see whales all the time.”
He started his camera running to capture the whale’s activity.
“It seemed like it was chasing food, but all of a sudden it came in really fast.”
The whale ended up grounded in shallow water and was struggling to release itself.
“I was down on the beach with a woman, and she was really emotional,” he added. “I would have went in myself, but I’m only 5’8” and 120 pounds, so what was I going to do with a whale?”
As concern grew over the whale’s plight and the lowering tide, Peddle’s uncle, Marcel Cook, happened along with a truckload of lumber for a job he was doing.
“He said, ‘ Ryan, are you going in?’”
By the time the Leading Tickles men were ready to tackle the rescue with 2 X 4s to help pry the whale free, another man – Mark Chippett – joined in the effort.
The rescue didn’t take long – “maybe five minutes” Peddle estimates. They were working in waist deep water.
When asked if he was nervous to get so close to the whale, the young pastoral student said he “didn’t even second guess it.”
As to the feeling watching the freed whale swim away, he was quite frank.
“Just to see him swim away, you knows it made you feel good,” he said, noting that by then there were 40-50 people along the shoreline who started clapping and praising the men for their efforts.
Peddle said he’s seen many whales growing up in Leading Tickles, but he’s left guessing about the one he just helped rescue.
“We usually see a lot of Minkes and Humpbacks, but this one was all black with a round head like a Beluga,” he said. (Ed Sibylline : it’s a pilot whale)