TODAY |

Father and children in campervan see stranded whales in Golden Bay, get out and push them off sand

A family has rescued five more stranded whales at Taupata Point in Golden Bay.

Volunteers push stranded whales off the sand in Golden Bay.
Volunteers push stranded whales off the sand in Golden Bay. Source: 1 NEWS

The man and his two children were driving in their campervan when they saw a small group of whales on the beach.

They first thought the whales were dead, but then they saw the tails flapping. 

Realising the whales were alive and in need of help, the man and his two children rushed into the water and managed to push the whales off the sand.

Around 300 whales could be left to decompose in the marine environment, instead of being allowed to drift out to sea. Source: Breakfast

They then contacted the Department of Conservation.

By the time DoC arrived, the whales were already swimming safely in deep water.

DoC ranger Greg Napp said the family "basically single-handedly saved five whales".

DOC staff have the awful job of moving and burying the mammals so they don't get taken back out to sea. Source: 1 NEWS

A pod of 17 whales refloated at Farewell Spit this morning now appear headed towards the safety of Cook Strait. Source: 1 NEWS

As well as being a case of "right place right time", Mr Napp said the family showed an impressive spirit by stopping and helping the whales.

"It shows a pretty determined attitude to get out there and get stuck in, which is awesome," he said.

"It's not just luck, it requires a bit of can do."

The mystery family did not appear to have been involved in earlier rescues, but took the right actions, Mr Napp said.

"It's pretty cool, people see it on TV and learn.

"If you haven't got much time you may as well just give it a go, just push them off nice and gently."