Volunteers break down in tears as whale calf's fight ends

UPDATE 1.35PM: The baby whale beached at Warana has now passed away.

Council have pushed back volunteers and the public to the sand dunes as they prepare to remove the whale's body.

The mesh fence erected to shield the whale from the public has been taken down, and an excavator can be seen waiting nearby to remove the whale carcass from the beach.

Nicknamed 'Sandy' by volunteers, a witness told the Daily that they had a feeling from the start that the whale would not make it through.

Sea World vet David Blyde said today's beaching is one of six rescues he has attended this year and they seem to be happening more and more. 

Sea World staff have praised the volunteer's rescue efforts as the best they'd ever seen, with some staff taking photos of the action when they arrived to use for future training. 

UPDATE 12.30PM: Vets are preparing to euthanise the baby whale beached on the Sunshine Coast.

Vets have sedated the whale calf, with Sea World Vet David Blyde telling the Daily that the sedative itself might be enough to put the whale to sleep.

If the sedative doesn't put the whale down, euthanasia chemicals will be used.

A mesh fence has been erected around the whale as experts keep it comfortable in its final moments.
A mesh fence has been erected around the whale as experts keep it comfortable in its final moments.

An eyewitness told the Daily that the baby whale's tail can still be heard occasionally flapping on the sand as the sedative takes over.

A volunteer was seen crying as she gave the whale calf one final farewell pat before leaving the beach.

Other volunteers have been seen embracing as they come to terms with the news.

Fencing has been erected around the whale to screen the calf from the public, as experts work to make the baby whale comfortable during its final moments.

Volunteers were seen embracing after they were told the grim news.
Volunteers were seen embracing after they were told the grim news.

Once the whale has passed away, Sunshine Coast Council will be responsible for removing the carcass from Warana beach.

UPDATE 11.45AM: Time is running out for the stranded whale calf on the Sunshine Coast.

Sea World experts have broken the news to volunteers that the beached whale is likely to be euthanised if the mother is not found.  

Sea World Vet David Blyde confirmed that they will decide in the next hour if the whale calf will be put down.

Blood tests have been taken to find out how healthy the calf is. The results will help experts decide on what next steps to take. 

Experts said that the baby whale is less than 24 hours old, and that the mother whale is likely a first time mum who gave birth too close to shore.

As releasing the calf into the wild looks less and less likely volunteers are perched in the sand dunes with binoculars, frantically scanning the seas for the mother whale.  

UPDATE 11AM: Sunshine Coast Council have told the Daily that the volunteer force currently working to keep the beached baby whale alive will be scaled back as the tide begins to rise.

Experts said that the newborn whale, which is believed to be a humpback whale, is likely to become distressed when the waves start to roll in.

Trained volunteers, along with SEALIFE Mooloolaba and Sea World employees in wetsuits, will continue to work with the stranded baby.

Experts are asking any volunteers with binoculars to position themselves in the sand dunes to try and spot the baby whale's mother.

If the mother whale can't be found, experts said that it is more likely that the baby will return to the wild and survive.

A Sea World officer briefing volunteers and wildlife officers on the baby whale rescue efforts.
A Sea World officer briefing volunteers and wildlife officers on the baby whale rescue efforts.

Sea World have just arrived at Warana Beach to assist with the whale rescue. 

UPDATE 10.15AM: SEALIFE Mooloolaba have praised the woman who found and called in the beached baby whale, commending her for her quick action.

The woman called 13 ANIMAL at 6am this morning to alert authorities to the stranded whale.

The baby whale is currently sitting in a pool on Warana beach while a growing team of rescuers work to keep the animal calm, wet, and alive.

A SEALIFE employee told the Daily that they believe the whale was beached at around 5am.

Experts have been unable to determine the gender of the newborn whale, and are waiting on Sea World experts to assist with the rescue and treatment of the whale.

Sea World are expected to arrive in Warana in about an hour's time, bringing slings and other equipment to help return the baby whale into the ocean.

High tide is expected at 4pm, with eyewitnesses said that seawater is beginning to creep closer to the whale lying on the beach.

Experts told the Daily that the tide will help return the baby

 back to the ocean, but they are unsure of the whale's condition and if it would survive in the wild.

More to come.

UPDATE 10AM: More than 30 rescuers are fighting to save a beached baby whale on the Sunshine Coast.

Sunshine Coast Council have corralled off the whale to keep the public back while rescuers work to keep the animal cool. 

The whale is covered in wet sheets and have formed a bucket train to  pass seawater from the ocean over the whale, who is lying in a small pool shaded by three beach marquees.

"It's only about three metres long," an eyewitness told the Daily.

The beach whale was first reported to authorities at about 6am this morning. 

Parks and Wildlife are leading the rescue attempt, with help from SEALIFE Mooloolaba, Turtle Care volunteers, Coolum Coast Care, and members of the public. 

Warana resident Brad Leech‎ was walking on the beach this morning when he came across the whale rescue mission. 

A team of rescuers are fighting to save a baby whale on the Sunshine Coast.
A team of rescuers are fighting to save a baby whale on the Sunshine Coast.

"I thought I spotted a whale (in the ocean) and pointed it out to my friend, but the water is quite rough and I couldn't see it again," he said.

More to come. 

BREAKING: Rescuers are fighting to save a baby whale which has beached itself in the shallows on the Sunshine Coast.

About 20 rescuers have formed a line from the water to the sand, to pour water over the baby whale.

Seaworld's Marine Sciences director Trevor Long is on his way to see if the animal can be saved.

But Mr Long told the ABC if a parent of the whale couldn't be found by the time it was high-tide at 4.30pm, the whale may have to be euthanised.

More to come.

Topics:  beached whale editors picks sunshine coast warana whale wildlife

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