In 2004 a pod of 74 pilot whales (from the dolphin family) was stranded on Ōpoutere Beach in the Coromandel. By the time they were discovered, 53 were dead. Eighteen were refloated at high tide. Rescuers, seen here in the distance, worked hard, stroking and comforting the last three. Two were successfully refloated. Those that died were farewelled with a karakia (prayer).
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New Zealand Herald
Reference: 1 December 2004
Photograph by Greg Bowker
Permission of the New Zealand Herald must be obtained before any re-use of this image.