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Weather halts whale rescue

15 November 2011, 16:34

Wellington - Worsening weather has forced Australian authorities to postpone efforts to save the last surviving whale in a mass stranding that has killed 25 of the creatures.

Twenty-two sperm whales and two minke whales died after getting stranded on Saturday on or near remote Ocean Beach in Tasmania. Four more sperm whales got stuck on a sandbar in nearby Macquarie Harbour but survived longer because they remained partially submerged.

Parks and Wildlife Service spokesperson Jane Lovibond said crews freed two of those whales on Monday by dragging them out with giant nets. She said another whale died overnight and the fourth remains trapped on the sandbar.

Lovibond said the wind and swells make rescue work unsafe now, and that officials will reassess the weather on Wednesday.

- AP

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