SEA RESCUE – Port Alfred – Saturday, Whale close to shore investigated:


A whale and pup have been spotted of the coast at East Beach. Members of the boating, finishing and the general public are advised to keep their distance so as to give the whales time to leave the area Picture: NICK DONAGHY

GERRIT CLOETE, NSRI Port Alfred duty coxswain.

At 11.57am on Saturday, July 10, the NSRI Port Alfred duty crew were activated to investigate reports of a whale close to shore in the vicinity of East Beach, Port Alfred.

Since Tuesday, July 6, NSRI Port Alfred had received calls from public members who were concerned about a whale off-shore in the vicinity of East Beach, appearing to be close to shore.

During the week NSRI Port Alfred dispatched NSRI spotters to check on the whale after concerns were raised that the whale may be entangled.

Although appearing to come inshore, as close as up to about half a nautical mile, the whale did not appear to be in any kind of distress and did not appear to be entangled.

On Saturday, public members reported the whale to be only 150 meters off-shore and the decision was taken to launch a sea rescue craft to take a closer inspection.

The sea rescue craft, Rescue 11 Alpha, was launched and, on closer inspection, the Humpback whale was located appearing to be healthy and in no distress but it is accompanied by its young calf. This may be the reason that it is remaining in the area close inshore.

We are appealing to local boaters launching and returning through the Kowie River channel to be aware of the whales’ presence and we appeal to the public to stay a distance away from the whales at East Beach.

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