Beached orca killer whale

Good Samaritans pour water on beached killer whale until it can free itself

A Premiere Daily Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that are just too amazing and note-worthy to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to experience again. They may surprise you, make you smile, or even shed a tear, but they’re always meant to add a little extra to your day. This story is from July 2021.

Humans are probably one of the only species who can help out every other creature on this planet, but we’re also one that can pose a threat. In 2021, a beached killer whale got to experience a shining example of humanity. The event took place on an island in Alaska. Kind humans took turns keeping the creature until the tides rose enough for it to swim away.

The orca, 20ft in length, got itself beached on some rocks on the Prince of Wales Island coast. The creature was seemingly injured and was crying out for help via sounds most of us are familiar with. Fortunately, a ship was passing by and managed to spot the poor whale.

Advertisement

The Mighty Rescue

They got off their ship and started pumping water onto the creature so that its skin does not get dry. Onlookers also joined in the effort until the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) arrived at the scene. In the afternoon, as the tide rose once more, the whale managed to swim away to where it belonged.

Advertisement

Julie Speegle, a spokeswoman for the NOAA, had said that the whale did not dart away immediately. Rather, it had been meandering around for a bit until it decided to swim away.

Advertisement

M/V Steadfast was the ship to first spot the beached whale, as per reports by KTUU. The crew saw that it was 4-5 ft above the line of the tide. The pumping not only kept the whale wet but also kept pesky seabirds away from causing further harm.

Advertisement

Tara Nelson shared a picture of onlookers and bystanders using buckets to keep the whale wet. She remarked that her niece was there at the site when the event occurred. However, such an event was a first for her, leaving her to wonder if an earthquake was at fault.

Trending Now

Survey shows older women are now dating younger men. Here’s why
Survey shows older women are now dating younger men. Here’s why
Woman Finds Mysterious 'Egg' In Her Home. Father In law Tells Her To G...
Woman Finds Mysterious 'Egg' In Her Home. Father In law Tells Her To G...
Sea cucumbers are so valuable that people are risking their lives divi...
Sea cucumbers are so valuable that people are risking their lives divi...
Swimmer rescued by coach after fainting in pool during world champions...
Swimmer rescued by coach after fainting in pool during world champions...
Largest freshwater fish ever caught hooked in Cambodia
Largest freshwater fish ever caught hooked in Cambodia
Man and woman found together after she was buried ALIVE with dead husb...
Man and woman found together after she was buried ALIVE with dead husb...
Gas station manager fired for mistakenly setting gas to 69 cents per g...
Gas station manager fired for mistakenly setting gas to 69 cents per g...
Here's what it might be like to travel on a double decker airplane sea...
Here's what it might be like to travel on a double decker airplane sea...
Fears for Tom Hanks' health as he appears unable to control his shakin...
Fears for Tom Hanks' health as he appears unable to control his shakin...
Galapagos Tortoise From Species Thought Extinct For 100 Years Is Found
Galapagos Tortoise From Species Thought Extinct For 100 Years Is Found
Healthy young people are dying suddenly and unexpectedly from a myster...
Healthy young people are dying suddenly and unexpectedly from a myster...
For $1,200 a Month, You Can Own a Tiny Home at This Village in Florida
For $1,200 a Month, You Can Own a Tiny Home at This Village in Florida
Advertisement

Just the day before, an earthquake measuring 8.2 on the Richter Scale had taken place. However, Speegle confirmed that there was no proof that the two events were indeed connected. When the NOAA officers arrived, they requested the onlookers to keep their distance since too many people would add to the whale’s stress levels.

Advertisement

Who Was The Whale?

The story, however, is far from over. A week later, researchers even managed to identify the beached killer whale from the pictures circulating on social media. The whale’s name was T146D. For most of us, the name may not mean anything. However, for researchers, it is one of the most important ways of keeping track of such whales.

Advertisement
An aerial picture of the beached whale.
Image Credits: Captain Chance Strickland and Crew of M/V Steadfast | KTUU

According to Jared Towers, a staff member for Canada’s Oceans and Fisheries Department, there are more than 300 killer whales in that area. This one has a comparatively distinctive eye patch.

“There’s over 300 of them,” he said. “They’re the ones that are typically seen from Alaska and further south, down to the Lower 48 off the west coast of North America.”

Advertisement

Now for the good news: they said that the whale had a high chance of surviving long-term. Albeit it was never spotted again nor was it spotted rejoining its pod, Sutton, Jerry’s colleague, said that there was not a lot of blood mixed with tide underneath the whale. As such, Towers confirmed that almost all of the whales who got beached and rescued ended up doing just fine. The number is 5 in the past 20 years.

He suspects that the whale was probably beached while hunting a harbor seal in the shallow waters. Also, researchers are hopeful to see and document it once again if our human cameras ever manage to spot it.

Advertisement

Hopefully, T146D is doing well!

Keep Reading: Man Describes Being Swallowed By Humpback Whale: “I’m Done, I’m Dead”

Sources

  1. Good Samaritans pour water on beached killer whale until it can free itself.” NY Post. Mark Lungariello. July 31, 2021.
  2. Orca stranded on Southeast Alaska beach swims away with high tide.” ADN. Michelle Theriault Boots. July 29, 2021.
  3. Orca gets free after being stranded on coast of Prince of Wales Island.” Alaskas News Source. Jay Luzardo and Megan Pacer. July 29, 2021.
  4. Meet T146D, the orca that freed itself from a stranding on Prince of Wales Island.” KRBD. Molly Lubbers. July 30, 2021.
Mayukh Saha
Freelance Writer
Mayukh is a Content Marketer and Social Media Manager with over 5 years of experience in the industry. Mayukh believes in the power of content; how it can positively impact lives, scale businesses and touch people. In his spare time Mayukh likes to read about latest tech trends and loves to travel in the nature. You can reach him at [email protected]
Advertisement