People Helped A Stranded Orca Stay Hydrated Until The Tide Came In

July 30, 2021

An orca that beached itself on Prince of Wales Island has freed itself, according to federal biologists.

people help stranded orca pouring water
Credit: Tara Neilson / @neilson_tara

The orca was discovered by locals on Thursday morning. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) arrived soon after to help the stressed marine mammal.

"The high tide is supposed to occur at 5:30 this late afternoon, so we are hoping that the whale will be able to free itself at that point," NOAA Fisheries spokesperson Julie Fair said.

Twitter user Tara Neilson shared photos of the orca while it was stranded. It appeared to be lodged in seaweed-slicked rocks.

People were pouring buckets of water on it to keep it hydrated.

people help stranded orca pouring water
Credit: Tara Neilson / @neilson_tara

Speegle said the orca was trying to communicate, making the haunting clicks and whistles and pulsing calls the animals are known for. Other orcas were reported in the area, offshore.

Luckily the tide came in a little earlier than expected, helping the orca refloat and swim away around 3 p.m.

"Our officer and troopers report the whale was a bit slow at first, and meandered around a little before swimming away," Speegle said.

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