Human effort outweighs tragic end to whale stranding
NATIONAL Parks and Wildlife Service thanked all those who helped try and free the humpback whale stranded on Sawtell Beach at the weekend.
Unfortunately the whale was unable to be saved after an exhaustive 24-plus hour rescue attempt and was euthanised on Saturday afternoon.
NPWS manager Glenn Storrie said it was very encouraging to see so many people willing to assist in such a difficult time despite the atrocious conditions at the weekend.
"The efforts of everyone were truly amazing, particularly the Sawtell locals," Glenn said.
Glenn thanked everyone for their efforts, from the surfers who first tried to stop the humpback whale from beaching on Friday morning to those who helped clean up on Saturday.
"Invaluable support was also provided from organisations including Coffs Harbour's Dolphin Marine Magic, ORRCA, Sea Sheppard, Coffs Harbour City Council, the police and staff from the Marine Science Centre and local vets," he said.
"Local fishing trawler operator, Kane Ward, and Jetty Dive owner, Mike Davey, and Sawtell Surf lifesaving Club Captain, Steve Rayson were quick to make their vessels and their teams available to support any rescue attempt.
"Veterinarians Duan March and James Osborne from Dolphin Marine Magic and Trevor Long from Sea World provided essential clinical advice on the whale's health.
"ORRCA provided volunteers who helped continuously monitor the whale's condition throughout the operation.
"It was that support that enabled the preparation of a plan to be prepared to re-float the whale, however surf conditions were too rough to attempt this.
"As the conditions were not expected to abate for the next few days and the condition of the whale would only worsen, a decision to euthanise had to be made."
Glenn said the whale was removed from the beach and buried offsite.