Kindhearted people kept an orca alive by continuing to dump water on it until help arrived on July 29.
A 20-foot killer whale became stranded on rocks, off the coast of Prince of Wales Island about 40 miles southwest of Wrangell. The mammal appeared to be injured and made distress noises according to the Anchorage Daily News.
The ship M/V Steadfast first spotted the whale about 4 or 5 feet above the tide line. Crew members used a seawater pump to keep the animal wet and the birds away. Concerned citizens on the shore also came to the sea creature’s aid according to KTUU.
Author Tara Neilson shared a social media photo of volunteers throwing buckets of water onto the beached mammal, to keep it hydrated.
Lovely people helping. pic.twitter.com/N02eQQY2eb— Tara Neilson (@neilson_tara) July 29, 2021
“My niece Aroon is up here and found this stranded orca several miles from here,” she said on Twitter.
Neilson revealed she has never seen a whale become stranded this far from the shore.
“In all the years I have lived here I have never heard of seen anything like this,” she said. “I have to wonder if the 8.2 earthquake was to blame. [The] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is on its way to try to save it.”
My niece Aroon is up here and found this stranded orca several miles from here. In all the years I’ve lived here I’ve never heard or seen anything like this. I have to wonder if the 8.2 #Earthquake was to blame. NOAA is on its way to try to save it. #offgrid #Alaska pic.twitter.com/m6GO1q8Vg1— Tara Neilson (@neilson_tara) July 29, 2021
Eventually the tide rose again, allowing the creature to peacefully swim off.
NOAA tagged the whale with the identifying code T146D. The mammal will remain under observation and is estimated to be 13-years-old, according to KRBD.