PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Whale Rescue Effort Continues

Marine mammal experts aboard a  flotilla of vessels  are working to save what is left of a pod of whales that began stranding Tuesday on a beach in a remote area of Everglades National Park. 

At least 10 whales are dead.  At last count,  41 remained swimming in shallow water near shore. 

NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network is leading the attempt to herd the Pilot Whales into their home range in deeper water.  NOAA’s Blair Mase said they’re attempting to do that by using sound – banging on submerged pipes. 

“Aluminum pipes to help create a vibration in the water to guide the whales offshore,” she said.  “It creates a sound and sound travels very quickly underwater and these animals have very sensitive hearing and it’s something we’re trying to make work.”

The remote location is making rescue operations harder.   The shallow water about 30 miles North West of Flamingo is infested with sharks eating the whale carcasses.  Mase said Pilot Whales are known for mass strandings and she said she is not predicting a happy ending.