Among 58 whales found stranded on the remote northern Karikari Beach, 45 had already perished by the time they were discovered on Friday, August 20. More than 200 rescue volunteers, including New Zealand Department of Conservation personnel as well as volunteers from Far North Whale Rescue and Project Jonah raced to save the 13 survivors.
After their initial attempts to refloat each 1,500-kilogram whale were unsuccessful in part due to turbulent weather conditions, the rescue workers used cranes and body slings to transport the marine mammals to a different bay where the waters were calmer.
Although another four were tragically found re-beached, the remaining nine were later observed swimming strongly back out to sea.
Our heartfelt thanks, New Zealand Department of Conservation, Far North Whale Rescue, Project Jonah and all other workers and volunteers for your valiant efforts to save precious lives during this tragic event.
With Heaven’s grace, may we all strive to better protect our marine co-inhabitants and their irreplaceable homes. During an international gathering in August 2008, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed such sorrowful predicaments while highlighting how they may be alleviated through humanity’s better care of the ecosphere.