What you can do to assist in response and rescue... 


Most important:

  • Phone Whale Release and Strandings’ toll-free number:                                                                                                   1 (888) 895-3003

  • Remember these are wild animals: use caution around them. Their powerful tail fins can inflict serious injuries.

  • Take photographs and remember to put an object in for scale to help determine the size of the animal.

  • Do not attempt to move large whales. This is very dangerous. 

Support on the beach:

• Check for injuries.

• Reduce stress by keeping crowds & dogs away.

• Place wet blankets and towels over animal (not over blow hole).

• Pour water over animal to maintain their body temperature (not over or near blowholes).

• Minimize  handling.

• When lifting, do not use fins, flippers, tail or flukes as handles. Do not stand on flippers.

• Remove sharp objects from underneath animal.

• Move animals from heavy surf.

• Dig trenches for flipper and tail. Animal should rest

• Use tarp or stretcher to move whales.


Support in the water:

• Support by hand or stretcher.

• Small whales can be held with one hand positioned behind and under the flipper and the other behind the dorsal fin.

• Face multiple animals toward each other so they can see where the others are.

• If animal is unstable, rock it back and forth before release so it can regain its sense of balance.

• When animal begins thrashing stop rocking it.

• DO NOT submerge blowholes. This is like submerging a person’s nostrils!

• DO NOT tow whale by the tail; it can break their backs.

• If there are multiple whales, release them in a horizontal line.

• Make noise on the water to drive whales offshore. 

To report a beached or entangled whale, dolphin, or sea turtle call our toll-free number. We can offer advice or send a trained crew.


    (This number only works in Newfoundland & Labrador)

Whale Release and Strandings Group