Orca refloated after stranding on Marlborough beach

An orca stranded on a Marlborough beach has successfully been refloated, after volunteers spent the night caring for it.

The whale beached on Sunday morning and was kept comfortable by a team of medics, DoC workers, soldiers and volunteers.

Army staff from New Zealand, Canada, the United States and Australia helped dig a trench, which enabled the whale to swim out to sea during high tide.

The army staff were in the area, participating in Exercise Southern Katipo.

There are 25 army staff helping at the moment, including three Americans, two Canadians and one Australian - they are in New Zealand for Exercise Southern Katipo.
There are 25 army staff helping at the moment, including three Americans, two Canadians and one Australian - they are in New Zealand for Exercise Southern Katipo. Photo credit: Ross Wearing
New Zealand Army staff have been digging a trench to help the whale to refloat.
New Zealand Army staff have been digging a trench to help the whale to refloat. Photo credit: Project Jonah
Volunteers worked through the night to keep the orca cool, calm and comfortable.
Volunteers worked through the night to keep the orca cool, calm and comfortable. Photo credit: Project Jonah

Local Anna McIntosh found the stranded orca on Marfells Beach and posted on Facebook, asking for help from Seddon and Ward residents.

"Please can you spread the word that we need some big burly blokes in wetsuits to help?" she said.

Volunteers worked through the night to keep the orca cool, calm and comfortable. Photo credit: Project Jonah

Posted by Anna Muir on Saturday, November 11, 2017

She included photos and a video of several people attempting to help the orca to move out to deeper waters.

Ms McIntosh later updated the status to say members of the DoC had arrived to help, as well as volunteers from Project Jonah, a charity dedicated to protecting whales, dolphins and seals.

Newshub.