A 20-foot Orca was found on rocks on Prince of Wales Island in Ala.
CNN reports that boaters saw the whale trapped in a crevice of rock almost five feet above the tideline. The crew alerted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This authorized them to use seawater pumps to keep the whale wet and birds away.
Aroon Melane, a TikTok user shared a video of the rescue operation. The crew was pouring water buckets on the orca.
“We were working on getting a hose and pump to work,” Melane says in the video. “In the meantime, we used buckets to keep the orca wet.” Thankfully, Melane says the whale became more lively after the crew put water on them.
The tide made it possible for the orca to return to the ocean six hours after its initial sighting. After it arrived, the seawater rose sufficiently high to allow the whale’s release from the rocks for it to swim off.
CNN spokeswoman Julie Fair said that NOAA will examine the photos and videos from the rescue in order to determine whether the whale sustained injuries.
It is not clear what caused the beaching. A 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck the coast of southwestern Alaska less than a day prior to the beaching. But NOAA believes that the earthquake did not cause the orca’s stranding.
Fair stated that no other whales were affected, but that “at times during stranding, a killer whale was vocalizing, and other killer Whales were spotted within the vicinity.” Fair spoke to CNN.
Kudos to all the good Samaritans that spent their day protecting this orca!