A rescue attempt will be made tonight to return a pod of beached pilot whales at the base of Farewell Spit in Golden Bay to sea.
The rescue mission is being timed for 7.30pm, an hour before high tide.
However, rescuers will have a race against time as the Department of Conservation does not want people in the water in the dark of night.
It has been monitoring about 60 pilots whales in two pods.
One pod of 13 has beached about 7km from Triangle Flat which is where the DOC carpark is for access to Farewell Spit.
Project Jonah volunteers will assist in the rescue.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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