Subject: Rescue: whale rescue (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Thu, 22 Oct 1998 08:38:19 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 17:09:35 -0400
From: Greg Early <>
Subject: Re: whale rescue

At 08:20 PM 10/18/98 EDT, you wrote:
>I am a fourth grade student doing a project on whales.
>How would you get three whales that are trapped under the ice to follow ice
>holes for four miles into the open waters?
>Alex Hutchinson

Hi Alex,

Hmmmm...let's see...stick my head down the ice hole and bark like a shrimp
??  Sorry, bad joke, and that probably wouldn't work anyway... It sounds
like you might have heard about something that actually happened to three
gray whales in the arctic several years ago.  The three whales were caught
in ice as the sea froze over and could not get out.  At the time, some of
the people trying to rescue them cut holes in the ice that led to open
water.  The whales did not go.  The people did what I would probably do and
first played the sound of feeding gray whales in the holes they wanted the
whales to go to.  When that did not work they tried playing a sound that
would scare the whales in the right direction (the sound of feeding killer
whales).  When that did not work they tried to let the hole the whales were
in  freeze over.  This sort of worked, but the whales still did not go.
What finally happened was an icebreaker ship was used to cut a canal to the
whales.  That worked, so if I had to do it I guess I would look for someone
with an icebreaker.



Greg Early
Edgerton Research Laboratory				
New England Aquarium
Central Wharf
Boston, Mass 02110
617-973-5246 (phone)
617-723-6207 (FAX)