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Australia: Rescue Attempt is Underway to Save 23 Long-Finned Pilot Whales

A rescue attempt is underway to save 23 long-finned pilot whales that are washed up against a breakwater wall in Western Australia.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) sent out a team to the Bunbury harbour breakwater wall after the whales congregated against it this morning.

ABC reporter Katrin Long is at the breakwater and said seven whales had died while some calves were fighting for their lives.

She said the whales were jammed in at the groyne and it was almost impossible to free them.

"Every time it looks like one is away from rocks a waves smashes it back into the groyne. One [is] just a bub," she said.

Volunteers from the Dolphin Centre have moved into the water to help the whales.

One volunteer, Bob, said it was hard to get to the whales.

"There were 60 or more on a beach," he said.

"Here we've got a small number but it's on rocks and it's ... hard to get down there in amongst the rocks."

Desperate attempts to save a struggling calf failed, but it has been towed out in an attempt to try and coax its mother away from the rocks.

Another calf has been rescued while the DPAW team and volunteers continue with their attempts to save the other whales.

Earlier the DPAW team managed to tow a whale away from the rocks but, as they are pod animals, it is likely it will wait for the others to be freed so they can leave together.

A plane has been sent to monitor the area to find out if there are any more whales in the area.


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