October 7th, 2016. A stranded humpback whale has managed to free itself from a North Stradbroke Island sandbank, after its calf was filmed trying to push it to safety.
The calf was repeatedly nudging its struggling mother in the shallow water after it became stuck around 7.30am AEST today.
It returned to its mother’s side just after 8am AEST, and both animals could be seen pushing and splashing their tails in an apparent effort to free the adult from the bank.
They successfully swam off the bank about 8.10am AEST, and quickly moved away into deeper water.
A Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services (QPWS) boat was at the scene at South Passage between Moreton and North Stradbroke islands, and other humpbacks could also be seen in the nearby area.
The pair are believed to be the same mother and calf that became stranded overnight on Polka Point, just off Dunwich on the same island, a QPWS spokesperson said.
QPWS had hoped incoming tides would help the adult whale to free itself, but had otherwise planned to stabilise the animals until rescuers arrived.
The tide was coming in at North Stradbroke, from low tide about 6.53am AEST to high tide about 1.21pm AEST, according to Willy Weather.