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A Minke whale stranded on a sandbar on the Shubenacadie River Photo: E. Curry/Tidal Bore Rafting Resort

Minke Whale returns to ocean after being beached on Shubenacadie River

By Evan Taylor Jun 10, 2024 | 3:51 PM

A minke whale owes thanks to a group of people who found it beached along the Shubenacadie River on Sunday.

“My understanding is that a group of tidal bore rafters found the whale and helped keep it cool until the tide came back in,” said Marine Animal Response Society (MARS) Director Tonya Wimmer.

MARS received a call about the whale in distress late Sunday morning and offered advice to the people who found it. “The animal was calm which makes things easier,” said Wimmer. “The people there helped splash water on it and every bit helps when they have been out of the ocean for so long,”.

Wimmer says the people who found the whale did exactly what they should in cases like this, first they called MARS who were able to provide advice and can help send resources when warranted, then they did what they could to keep the animal safe.

“Fortunately the tides are quite intense in this area so after a few hours it came in and the whale was able to float itself,” said Wimmer. “Some people watched it as it went down the river and it appeared to be in good health.

A research helicopter also went out to follow the whale as it returned to the ocean but Wimmer says it wasn’t spotted near the surface which is a good sign that the whale is healthy.

Wimmer encourages anyone planning to visit beaches around Atlantic Canada to ensure they have the MARS rescue number (1-866-567-6277) saved to their phone so the correct response can be coordinated as quickly as possible.