Beached whale on Assateague Island

Beached whale at Assateague Island, pilot whale, assateague  state park, MERR stranding tam
Christopher Battersby rescuing a beached whale at Assateague Island

The other day Christopher Battersby was finishing up surf fishing at Assateague Island with his friends, as they were leaving the beach, they spotted a beached whale near mile marker 24.  He jumped out of the truck and his friends AJ and Amanda started taking pictures  They called the rangers and he immediately jumped in the surf to help the whale.  He said …  “I didn’t even think I just reacted, jumped in, and started pushing.  The whale was beached head first, I helped turn it around, and pushed it back into the surf.  I thought about getting help from anyone else on the beach, but just reacted and tried to help.  I did mash my foot a bit, but it is just bruised  Eventually I had it headed back to sea, once past the waves we lost sight of it after 20 minutes.  It was about 15-16 feet long, black with a squared head and long fins.  Unfortunately I was told later that evening the whale beached itself again and did not survive”.  

Personally I think Chris did a good thing trying to help this animal, other rescue organizations may say different, but when we see another creature in need of immediate help many times we just react.  Usually whales beach themselves for a reason, such as being sick or injured.  I know many fellow anglers that would have tried to do the same thing, no one wants to see a fish out of water so to speak.  He tried his best to help this whale, without any thought of himself.  Calling the rangers was a good move, and what everyone should do if you ever encounter one of these creatures or any other marine animal in trouble.  Also contacting the MERR institute stranding team is a good idea in Delaware as well, and if in Maryland contact the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Marine Animal Rescue Program.  I think Chris did a good thing regardless of the end result.  He cared and he tried, had no one been out there this never would have been reported.  If anyone ever encounters a stranded marine animal please contact the folks that can help.

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