PHOTOS: Beachgoers try to help beached Pilot whales | Action News Jax reporter Ryan Nelson is on St. Simons Island talking with rescue crews. Watch his report on CBS47 at 5.
Wednesday update: Wildlife biologists say a third Pilot whale has died after several beached in St. Simons Island.
Wildlife officials said the pod of Pilot whales is still close to shore after some beached Tuesday.
Right now, they are near Buoy 12 in the channel, which is farther out to sea than they were yesterday.
Beachgoers and personnel from several agencies tried to help the Pilot whales after dozens were found close to shore Tuesday. Georgia's Department of Natural Resources said up to six whales couldn't move after they beached.
Wildlife agencies tried to push the Pilot whales back out to sea but some animals continued to return to the beach.
Two Pilot whales that didn't survive were moved this morning to the Altama Wildlife Management Area for necropsies.
Georgia's Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday morning that they will be working with the National Marine Mammal Foundation to monitor the pod of Pilot whales.
The department is expected to give an update later today.
Original story from Tuesday:
Dozens of beachgoers rescued dozens of beached Pilot whales on Tuesday in St. Simons Island, Action News Jax has confirmed.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources tells Action News Jax several Pilot whales were beached on St. Simons Island. DNR said two of the Pilot whales didn’t make it.
Video was captured Tuesday afternoon as several Pilot whales were beached near East Beach. In the video you could see dozens of people out there trying to help – splashing water onto the Pilot whales and trying to push them back into the water.
A spokesperson with DNR said these kinds of Pilot whales travel in packs. He said they are very friendly and social. So, when one falls behind, they won’t leave them. They’ll stay until the other comes back.
Two whales died Tuesday night. DNR said they don’t appear to be hurt, but possibly sick. They will be taken to Wild Management on Wednesday morning for an autopsy. The other whales at last check were spotted between Jekyll and St. Simons Island.
It’s still unclear why the Pilot whales were beached. Action News Jax asked DNR when was the last time something like this has happened, and we were told since the 80’s.