We have devised and tested a way to move stranded marine-life back to, or nearer, the ocean.
This is free to use but please contact the Coastguard, Harbour master, local Vet or local marine-life rescue organisation before moving the animal.
Watch our beach trial video here:
If given the approval to move the animal - you will need:
2 large sheets of damp proof membrane (LDPE - Low density polyethelene) both sheets cut in half lengthways to make the slide parts and the sleigh part of the device - these sheets are available from most builder's merchants or hardware store.
1 leather or heavy plastic football (to show the best route to the water).
20 metres of 10mm or 12mm rope (tie handles every 2 metres from each end, and tie a larger loop handle in the centre (this loops around the knot in the sleigh and tightens when you pull the animal),
1 garden rake (to clear stones away from the best route to the water)
6 (or more) averagely fit people.
20 'U-shaped' pegs (or smooth rocks) to hold the slide in place in strong winds.
- Tie a knot in the end of one of the sheets - this is the 'sleigh' part of the device.
- Lay one oth the other sheets parallel to the mammal and lay the sleigh on top of this sheet with the knot nearest the ocean.
- Tuck the dorsal fins in tight to the body of the mammal (rolling the animal with a dorsal fin protruding a little will break most of the bones in the dorsal fin) and slowly roll the mammal on to this side.
- Tuck most of the sheets under the mammal. Ensuring that the other dorsal fin is tight to the body of the mammal - roll it on to its other side and pull the sheets that were tucked in from the other side - the mammal should be now laying on both sheets.
- loop the centre of the rope through itself then place it around the knot.
- Place the football at the knot end of the sheet and mark the direction as it rolls towards the sea - any deviation from this line and it will be very difficult to keep the animal upright, and the sleigh will slip off the side of the slide as you pull the animal towards the water.
- Lay out the remaining sheets to form a long slide toward the water, each section should be tucked under the preceding section and pegged down (in windy weather). Try to keep sand off the slide as this will make it more difficult to pull the animal.
- Water the slide continously as others pull steadily on the ropes, 1 or 2 people can support the animal to keep it upright. One person needs to take each used section of slide and add it to the front of the slide, it is better to keep the whale moving slowly rather than stopping and starting.
- Even if you can only move the animal to shallow water it will greatly improve its chances of survival.
- Good luck, well done, and please let us know how you got on.