Fingers crossed Timaru's rescued whale hasn't beached itself again

Rescuers will be up at first light on Monday to try and spot a sperm whale that was refloated in Timaru on Sunday night. 

The 12-metre mammal managed to swim away on its own at high tide in Caroline Bay last night, but the Department of Conservation (DoC) says there's still a chance it could beach again. 

"So far no sign or reports of the whale," Duncan Toogood, DoC operations manager said early on Monday.

"It's still dark so still too early to say whether the refloat was successful. We have had no reports from our staff on site at Caroline Bay. We'll be checking nearby beaches later this morning."

Volunteer conservation group Project Jonah said on Sunday evening the operation appeared to be a success.

"The plan to keep the strap around the whale and attached to the fishing boat helped to move the whale off the beach... The towing strap has also been freed from the whale."

Rangers and medics will be checking beaches Monday morning. 

Anyone who spots a stranded marine mammal is urged to call the Department of Conservation (0800 DOC HOT) or Project Jonah (0800 494 253). 

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