From TVNZ (1/7/2012):
Eighteen of the 25 long-finned pilot whales stranded in Nelson last night have been successfully refloated.
Project Jonah marine mammal medics, Department of Conservation staff and members of the public put the whales back into the water on high tide around 9am.
However, the situation will be monitored to ensure no more whales restrand themselves.
Project Jonah CEO Kimberly Muncaster said whales in a disorientated state can easily restrand.
"The ones that have been refloated are not out of the woods yet, either," said Muncaster. "In their disoriented state they can easily restrand, so Project Jonah medics in the area and locals should remain on high alert for the next few days and keep informed through the Project Jonah website."
The mass stranding of about 70 whales last night followed the refloating of a single stranded whale yesterday.
Despite the efforts of those helping, seven whales died.
Locals can also help by checking their beaches and bays regularly over the next week. Both the refloated whales and the remaining members of their pod may still be in the bay and are at risk of stranding. Any beached whales should be reported to the Department of Conservation as soon as possible to give them the best chance of survival.
107 pilot whales beached in Stewart Island, New Zealand , one day before the February 22, 2011 earthquake (M.6.3).