Rescuers try to save whales beached off Indonesia’s Aceh

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) – Rescuers are trying to save a small pod of whales that beached yesterday off Indonesia’s Aceh province.

The head of Aceh’s marine and fisheries office, Nur Mahdi, said 10 whales were stranded at Ujong Kareng beach and attracted hundreds of onlookers who posed for pictures with them.

He said five were refloated hours later and led out to sea with boats. Rescuers are trying to treat two injured whales and refloat the others, he said.

Mahdi said whale pods follow a group leader and beach if the leader swims too close to shore due to sickness or other reasons.

Rescuers attempt to push stranded whales back into the ocean at Ujong Kareng beach in Aceh province, Indonesia yesterday. An official said 10 whales were stranded at the beach and attracted hundreds of onlookers who posed for pictures with them. – AP

Police are trying to keep people away while rescuers work with the whales, which are about 15 metres from shore.

A sperm whale was found dead on an Aceh beach last year after apparently being washed ashore in stormy weather.