A finback whale which was found beached on a Brittany beach yesterday (September 19) has returned to the sea after a rescue operation running into the night.
The “young 12-metre-long whale” was beached on the Plage de Ploéven in Finistère, where it was discovered by walkers yesterday morning.
Le #rorqual serait arrivé dans la nuit. Ces photos ont été prises en début de matinée. À l'heure actuelle il est semi immergé mais toujours ensablé pour repartir de lui même. Une tentative de tractage va être faite par la SNSM. pic.twitter.com/FzFUFjNBws— Sea Shepherd France (@SeaShepherdFran) September 19, 2022
It was described as being “just thin, without any sign of injury”, according to a volunteer from the Réseau national d’échouages national beaching association.
Firefighters and volunteers from NGO Sea Shepherd worked to create a channel of water around it, the departmental prefecture said, and this morning, Sea Shepherd announced that these efforts had worked.
“Miraculous! The rorqual has gone! Some said that it was dying, a lost cause, that the tide was too low, we helped it and it understood! It put all its energy into returning [to the water] and managed it with our help, it was wonderful!”
Miraculeux!!! Le rorqual est reparti !! Certains le disaient mourant, peine perdue, marée trop basse, nous l'avons aidé et il l'a compris ! Il a mis toute son énergie pour repartir et avec notre aide, il y est arrivé, c'était magnifique !!— Sea Shepherd France (@SeaShepherdFran) September 19, 2022
Third beached whale in Finistère this month
This whale was the third cetacean to have been beached in Finistère since the start of September.
A first was found on the Ile de Sein on September 2, and a second was discovered on the Plage de Tréguennec on September 10. Both of these animals – which were said to be very thin – died.
The whale that has managed to return to the sea had been in the bay for at least three weeks, and had been spotted on several occasions, according to the local mairie.
L'opération de la dernière chance pour aider le rorqual à repartir vers la mer. Encore 4 heures avant le pic de marée où on va tout tenter avec l'aide des pompiers pic.twitter.com/2SixZ2rJvU— Sea Shepherd France (@SeaShepherdFran) September 19, 2022
On continue et on attend la marée haute pic.twitter.com/CPEhvgAUe3— Sea Shepherd France (@SeaShepherdFran) September 19, 2022