More pilot whales head to Farewell Spit

Another 200 pilot whales are heading towards Farewell Spit, where hundreds of volunteers are already assisting whales that beached on Golden Bay on Friday.

Efforts to refloat around another 100 whales are continuing in the high tide on Saturday,
after 50 which had been re-floated on Friday came back ashore.

Department of Conservation spokesperson Andrew Lamason says there are also signs of sharks in the area, due to the large amount of blood left by the dead whales. 

Dead whales farewell spit
Stranded whales that washed up ashore at Farewell Spit. (Dutchie/Newshub)
whales nz  volunteers
Volunteers are being asked to be careful for potential shark threats in the area. (Project Jonah)

About 400 volunteers are forming a human wall in the ocean to get the remaining whales into a formation so the tide can take them out.

Rescuers estimated around 80 pilot whales were unable to be re-floated after the mass stranding of 416 whales in Golden Bay. Nearly 300 of them died.

On Saturday morning people returned to the beach, keeping the whales comfortable by covering them with damp material and buckets of water. 

The rescuers hope to get the remaining whales out to sea as high tide rolls in. 

Sara Kecaillier from Project Jonah says the pod stranded back on the beach overnight.