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