Posted By Lauriel O. Posted On

Rescuers spend 20 hours trying to rescue massive beached sperm whale

Sea creatures are always helpless when they get stranded on the shore.

The very fact that they could only survive in the water means that time is of the essence once they end up on the shore. Not all creatures could survive the dry sand and the heat.

Humans are their biggest chance of survival during those times. It is our responsibility to rescue them since we have the resources and capabilities. So, whenever a sea creature finds its way to the shore, there’s nothing more amazing than seeing all the efforts humans make to bring them back to safety.

Just like what these Chinese fishermen did to save this stranded sperm whale.

The fishermen found a 66-foot-long sperm whale that got stuck on the shore of Ningbo City in East China’s Zhejiang Province. It was around 8:00 AM on a Tuesday when they saw the poor mammal stuck in the middle of the sand.

Rescuers tried to tow it out with a fishing boat, but it was too big and heavy for them. Plus, the tide was going lower, adding to the challenge.

Around 2:00 PM, the tide was so low that there was barely any water to cover the sperm whale.

At this point, the whale was becoming dangerously dehydrated since its skin had been exposed to the sun for too long. People from concerned offices had to act fast to ensure the sperm whale survived.

Different departments and organizations at the municipal and county level stepped in to help. According to People’s Daily Online, this included the local marine and fishery law enforcement, emergency responders, port police, aquatic wildlife rescue groups, town officials, and volunteers.

They did everything to stabilize the whale’s condition.

Some rescuers coated its skin with medicine, while other volunteers dug puddles around the whale to keep its skin moist. Many continued splashing water towards the whale with whatever water they could scoop with the pail in their hands.

At around 9:00 PM, the rescue team started attaching special cables to the whale and slowly pulled it out of the sea. And at 10:30 PM, the tide finally rose to cover the sperm whale’s body.

Slowly but surely, the fishermen and the rest of the rescue team aided the whale back into deep waters. It was ten minutes before midnight when it finally reached 30-foot-deep waters, and the whale regained its strength. It began spraying water out of its blowhole – a positive sign of its recovery.

After almost seven hours of tugging, the sperm whale was released into the sea.

That grueling 21-hours rescue effort was worth it. Despite the many challenges of having this huge sperm whale stranded on the shore, it safely returned to its natural habitat. That’s what happens when humans care enough for the living creatures around them.

Kudos to the 12 rescue and law enforcement vessels and over 200 rescuers who participated in the operation. If it weren’t for them, that whale wouldn’t be able to go back to the ocean.

Check out the incredible rescue video below!