Whales stranded in Golden Bay

01:31, Nov 15 2012
STRANDED: About 30 pilot whales have beached 2 kilometres from the base of Farewell Spit.

About 30 pilot whales have stranded on Farewell Spit in Golden Bay.

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The whales were found earlier today and volunteers are now with them keeping them cool and calm, Project Jonah CEO Kimberly Muncaster says.

However, there won't be an opportunity to try and refloat them until tomorrow morning when the tide is in, she says.

Whale strandings are not uncommon in Golden Bay, at the top of the South Island.

A pod of 99 pilot whales stranded at Farewell Spit in Golden Bay in January. Many died while more than 90 volunteers worked to refloat others.

Muncaster says the geography of Golden Bay is incredibly confusing for whales and they often end up stranded again after being refloated.

Volunteers are prepared for a challenging few days ahead of them, Muncaster, who is heading to the area from Auckland tonight, says.

Golden Bay locals are trained and have the equipment to cope with whale strandings. They will work to keep the whales cool and calm and ensure that the area around them is quiet and peaceful. They will use sand bags to roll them upright.

The whales are stranded about 2 kilometres from the base of Farewell Spit.