CHATHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Multiple pilot whales found themselves stranded in the southern portion of Chatham Harbor on Saturday as crews worked to free them naturally with the tide.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare told WBZ NewsRadio in a statement that five whales were stranded, and while four were able to refloat, one ultimately died from the entrapment. Because of the nice weather, the scene attracted a number of passing boaters and onlookers— officials worked to keep the public at a distance for the whale and crews' safety.
According to crews, the location where the whales were stranded was a difficult spot to reach, as it's only accessible by boat. The IFAW worked with U.S. Fish & Wildlife and the Harbormaster to reach and assess the whales stuck out in the sands.
Brian Sharp, Director of the IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue & Research team said crews hoped the freed whales would swim out to deeper oceans overnight, though another whale became trapped on a spit of land from Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge at the southern tip on Sunday. It is unclear if that whale was one of the marine mammals stranded the day before.
WBZ's Tim Dunn (@ConsiderMeDunn) reports.