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Search underway for orca family off Wellington after stranding of young calf

A widespread search is underway for the family of a stranded juvenile orca near Wellington.

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People are searching from helicopters, planes and boats today in the wider Kapiti Coast area. Source: 1 NEWS

People are searching from helicopters, planes and boats today in the wider Kapiti Coast area.

"They could be anywhere … if anyone is able to help look for the orca pod, from the shore, in a boat, please do," Whale Rescue volunteer Mandy Coleman said.

"We would love to get the orca to the pod today. We don’t want to have to do it again tonight."

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The rescuers included firefighters, police and members of the public. Source: 1 NEWS

Coleman said there was a couple of occasions overnight when the calf seemed distressed, but he now seems happier and is swimming near the boat ramp.

The male calf has been placed in the sea near the Plimmerton Boating Club, with orca researcher Dr Ingrid Visser providing expert advice at the scene.

As of this afternoon, rescuers are securing a piece of wood at the end of a jetty to create a pen for the baby orca.

Those with a 5ml or more wetsuit will stay and look after the orca through the night, rotating on an hourly basis.

There is still no sight of the mum or the pod, but there are plenty of boats in the water searching. 

Locals help save baby orca stranded near Wellington

An attempt to find the whale’s pod yesterday afternoon near Mana Island, which saw the calf attached to the side of the boat in a harness, was unsuccessful.

An orca pod was spotted at Pukerua Bay but not reported to the volunteer group until much later.