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Whale returned to deep sea from the shallows near Struisbaai: NSRI

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A layard’s beaked whale appears to have been successfully returned to the deep sea after it was found floundering near the Struisbaai Harbour on the Southern Cape coast, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Saturday.

NSRI Agulhas duty crew were activated at 3.40pm on Friday afternoon following eyewitness reports of what was believed to be a dolphin injured in Struisbaai Harbour, NSRI Agulhas station commander Reinard Geldenhuys said.

“Our duty crew responded and found what was later confirmed by marine scientist Mike Meyer to be a layard’s beaked whale beaching outside the harbour and appearing to be weak,” he said.

Chris Wilkinson of the University of Pretoria Mammal Research Institute’s whale unit happened to be in Struisbaai at the time and he assisted on the scene with attempts to keep the whale away from the shoreline before, on his advice, NSRI rescue swimmers swam the whale through the surfline to deeper water.

The NSRI sea rescue craft I&J Rescuer IV was launched and took over from the NSRI rescue swimmers in deeper water, and monitored the whale at sea for some time.

“We are cautiously optimistic that the whale has survived. Patrols carried out by our NSRI crew on Saturday has revealed no sign of the whale,” Geldenhuys said.

Source:  African News Agency (ANA)


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