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Whale rescue nearing close


Fresh rescuers are due to arrive at Macquarie Harbour on Tasmania's West Coast on Friday, relieving exhausted crews who've given their all in the state's biggest whale stranding on record.

They've saved around 90 pilot whales, while another 20 still beached are considered a chance of survival after four days of toil.

Biologist Dr Kris Carlyon is optimistic the released whales will be able to regroup and move on.

"We get them into deeper water outside the Gates at Macquarie Harbour, and then they're really on their own," said Dr Carlyon. 

"Tracking work in the past has shown that animals that are released individually do reform their pod after a period of time." 


Tony Van Den Enden from Surf Life Saving Tasmania has told Seven saving whales has been an unforgettable experience.

"To see that movement and know that they have a chance is an amazing feeling, to have that in amongst so much tragedy and sadness." 

Four animals considered too weak to survive were euthanised on Thursday. 

Plans are on foot to dump around 350 carcasses now littering the harbour in the Southern Ocean.

Those who didn't survive the mass stranding will pose a major navigational hazard in the harbour once they "bloat and float". 

Image courtesy of the Advocate