Subject: Stranding:3rd Beached Whale Returned to (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Thu, 5 Feb 1998 09:38:04 -0500 (EST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu,  5 Feb 98 13:05:00 GMT 
Subject: 3rd Beached Whale Returned to

3rd Beached Whale Returned to Sea

   HOBART, Australia (AP) -- Pushing with a tractor and pulling with
a barge, rescuers today managed to get a third sperm whale off a
beach in western Tasmania and into deep water.
   Two other whales were successfully returned to sea Wednesday.
   The bodies of 62 more whales, ranging from calves to 30-ton
giants, lie scattered along two miles of Ocean Beach, creating a
massive clean-up operation in the island state off the southern tip
of Australia.
   Peter Mooney, officer in charge of the operation, said the third
whale had a good chance of surviving. "It's swimming around in
reasonably deep water, getting oriented, and it's looking good,"
Mooney said.
   About half of the whales were dead before they were found and
only nine were alive by the time enough people and equipment were
mustered Wednesday morning to begin rescue efforts.
   Bulldozers today were dragging the whale carcasses into dunes
500 yards above the high water mark, where they will beburied
under 10 feet of sand, Mooney said. He hoped the clean-up would be
finished Friday night.
   Ocean Beach is notorious for whale strandings. About seven years
ago, more than 70 smaller pilot whales beached themselves there.