Wexford men save beached whale

The beached pilot whale

David TuckerGorey Guardian

A group of Wexford men saved a whale which had beached Ballyteige Burrow near the Cull Bank in the south of the county.

Neil Bates, from Newtown, Kilmore, found the stranded whale which was in perfect condition and as he examined it, to his surprise, he saw the blowhole move indicating that the animal was breathing and was still alive.

In an attempt to save the whale, Neil enlisted the help on local men John and Michael O'Flaherty and together they managed to get the 3.2m-long animal back into the sea.

However, the whale was in some distress.

It swam on its side in circles, often rotating in the water.

After about 20 minutes it appears to have regained some equilibrium and swam off towards Hook Head.

Neil identified the species as a young, female Long-finned Pilot Whale. This was later confirmed by Jim Hurley, an Irish Whale and Dolphin Group contact person for strandings and sightings on the South Wexford Coast.

Jim Hurley said he would welcome reports of any sighting or stranding of whales or dolphins on (086) 1637199.