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01-15-2005, 05:07 PM
This sucks.

(Our chopper is getting video for the 6pm newscast)

*Photos Available for download below*

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A pod of 25 to 30 pilot whales have beached themselves across approximately five miles of beach near Oregon Inlet, N.C., this morning.

NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) coordinates response to marine mammal strandings throughout the U.S. with the help of many partners who are members of the National Stranding Network.

Coast Guard crews and National Park Service personnel are also assisting in the rescue and recovery of the whales.

The Stranding Network has advised the public to report any other beached whales to (305) 862-2850. Do not attempt to move or free any whale that is beached. Please contact those trained professionals who are coordinating the rescue.

“NOAA Fisheries has biologists working this situation. We'll know more once we see some of the animals," said Laura Engleby, NOAA Fisheries marine mammal biologist. "It's always tough when large numbers of marine mammals strand themselves like this, but we are continuing to learn as much as we can about why this happens, and what we can do to help."

Click here for a link to some pics:

01-15-2005, 05:24 PM
sh*tty..... it sucks to see sh*t like that.....


01-15-2005, 05:24 PM
Very, very......... Sad News! Please keep us updated here and Thanks! ..........Noah

01-15-2005, 06:00 PM
This is not only a sad thing but the weather isn't going to help rescuers at all.. :(

01-15-2005, 06:16 PM
Obviously they beached seemingly by choice.

It will be interesting to see if they were sick.

Hate to see such marvelous mammals in such a mess.

01-15-2005, 07:49 PM
I bet they were chasing something in close and just got there bearings messed up. I've heard accounts of that happening before. I also saw photos recently of huge schools of menhaden bal;led up near the coast of NC. Another fish they love are sea trout as well. I am no biologist, nor am I Cliff Klavin on cheers, but it seems as if that is logical...
What do you guys think?

01-15-2005, 08:33 PM
The lady from NOAA told me they are working on the possibility that one or two of the whales were sick and beached themselves. The others in the group, which I'm told is pretty tight knit, followed the sick ones onto the beach.

01-15-2005, 08:56 PM
Man that a bad situation! Thanks for the heads up Jeff.

01-15-2005, 09:40 PM
Did NOAA indicate what mile markers?

01-15-2005, 09:42 PM
They washed up between Coquina Beach and the OI.

01-16-2005, 12:05 AM
and another link (

01-16-2005, 12:25 AM
That KH Free Press link is good.

Apparently there's a minke whale on the dirt in Corolla too. Doncha love active sonar testing??

01-16-2005, 12:31 AM
That's an interesting post, DD. It might be a little too early to speculate on Navy sonar as a cause.
However, check out the location of the TR today. The Navy was close by. Real close:

TR rescues stranded civilians

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) responded to a call Saturday to assist three men stranded on their sailboat approximately 200 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
The Coast Guard first received a call of distress from the men at 4:55 p.m., and immediately made contact with the aircraft carrier, stating it was the closest in proximity to the vessel. TR was about 160 nautical miles northwest.
A Coast Guard C-130 made visual contact with the 36-foot vessel and was circling the area, keeping in constant radio communication.
TR sent an SH-60S Seahawk helicopter and an HH-60H Seahawk helicopter, both from the HS-3 “Tridents,” and launched an E-2C Hawkeye from the VAW-124 “Bear Aces,” to assess the situation and perform the rescue.
The men, all from Ottawa, Canada, set sail Wednesday from Moorhead City, N.C., headed for St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. They were flown back to TR and taken to medical for evaluation.
TR had been attempting to conduct flight deck certification in the same area but was forced to change locations and head north to calmer seas. Upon receiving the call, the carrier immediately turned around and headed back in the direction of the vessel to assist the three men.
All three men are in good condition. Names are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

01-16-2005, 12:31 AM

01-16-2005, 09:35 AM
It appears the whales were beaching themselves
during the early a.m Saturday hrs in the Pea Island area. I would conclude theres no connection to the whale beachings and the stranded men mentioned in the above story because their rescue commerced after 4.p.m Saturday. That situation occured several hundred miles SE of Pea Island. Noah

01-17-2005, 12:08 AM
Please understand that I'm not trying to blame the Navy. I have considerable doubt that Navy sonar led to the strandings.
However, I'm not too sure they weren't in the area.
The whales started washing up at Pea Island early Saturday morning.
The Canadians called for help 200 miles Southwest of Cape Hatteras around 4:55pm the same day.
The TR was 160 miles Northwest of the Canadians when they got the stress call from them.

Not knowing the exact locations or routes of the Navy and the whales makes it very difficult to determine if they were near each other Saturday morning.
But it might be worth investigating.

sand flea
01-17-2005, 07:48 PM
The link that Drumdum posted has some great shots.

Amazing that we still have no idea what causes these animals to commit mass suicide like this. Weird stuff.

01-18-2005, 01:24 AM
sunday morning at the point me and my friend found 2 on south beach around 7am one dead one alive... they were pygmy sperm whales i just read on cnn...

01-18-2005, 09:44 AM

January 17, 2005
"...Scientists and National Park Service workers worked Sunday to collect samples and clean up the carcasses of whales that had run ashore. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency's National Marine Fisheries Service was coordinating a recovery effort that involved biologists, Coast Guard crews and the National Park Service.

Along a five-mile stretch of beach near Oregon Inlet, 24 pilot whales died and seven others were euthanized because they were suffering, the National Park Service said.

A single minke whale was found dead in Corolla, north of Oregon Inlet, The Virginian-Pilot reported. Two pygmy sperm whales turned up Sunday morning near Buxton, south of the inlet, one already dead and one so sick that it also had to be euthanized, a federal biologist, Barbie Byrd, said.

It is not uncommon for pilot whales to beach themselves, but scientists do not know why."


01-20-2005, 08:35 AM
is all at or near the same time you got a minke, 30-35 pilots, and 2 pigmy sperm whales beaching themselves down, what, an 80 mile stretch. I know obx usually has a few flop up on da sand every year, but does it happen like is every time?
Sumpin' weird goin' on. Oh, and 200 miles under water(sound waves) ain't nothin' like at above it.
'em air whales can talk to each other hundreds of miles away, specially 'em bigun's.

sand flea
01-20-2005, 11:31 PM
Tuck is right. A pod beaching itself happens from time to time.

Several species coming ashore at once? Something's going on.

It's not unreasonable to think Navy sonar has something to do with this.

01-23-2005, 01:50 PM
Anybody ever thought about something out there was goin to eat them and they ran to the hill and beached themselves.....Great Whites were sited this spring off Rodanthe and they sort of like cool water.....ya never know, you don't ever here that something might be after the whales....

01-29-2005, 05:40 PM
Check this article out:

03-07-2005, 09:58 AM

sand flea - 01-20-2005, 10:31 PM: It's not unreasonable to think Navy sonar has something to do with this.
Mar 6, 10:42 AM (ET)
"KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - The Navy and marine wildlife experts are investigating whether the beaching of dozens of dolphins in the Florida Keys followed the use of sonar by a submarine on a training exercise off the coast.

More than 20 rough-toothed dolphins have died since Wednesday's beaching by about 70 of the marine mammals, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary spokeswoman Cheva Heck said Saturday. A day before the dolphins swam ashore, the USS Philadelphia had conducted exercises with Navy SEALs off Key West, about 45 miles from Marathon, where the dolphins became stranded. Navy officials refused to say if the submarine, based at Groton, Conn., used its sonar during the exercise..."


03-07-2005, 11:01 AM
Just like Area 51. You will never get the military to admit to anything. After we do our, the civil public, on investigation, which will take, like, 5 years, then the military will conduct their own, but not until ours is complete. They will stretch it out till they have develped a sonar system that does not interfere with aquatic mammals and then say "See, it doesn't do anything to them".
Gov'ment Beauracracy at it's finest spending the heck out of our tax dollar to get nothin', all to cover up an embarrasement. Shame, Shame!

03-07-2005, 12:15 PM
Let's cut the Navy some slack - we are a nation at war, after all. Long before our time, some German subs got pretty darn close. We can't afford something like that these days, can we?

03-07-2005, 12:45 PM
Oh, don't get me wrong KH. I'm with ya there.
They have my 1000% backing on the war on terror.
I was just mentioning that after DMF fomulates their investigation (a government group) the military will conduct their own investigation which is doubling our tax dollar towards one investigation. Don't make no sense, but it happens.
Not to run off on a tangent, but I whole heartedly agree that the military should keep some things private from the general public.
Our left wing media libitarians blows all of it out of the water, making mountains out of mole hills, not to mention terroist have access to all of our public communications, as well.
It's a cryin' shame that we ask them to do a job, but some sissy talking journalist, who's had nothing more than a water gun shot at him, wants to exploit our tactics of engagement and the civility of it all.
As General George S. Patton said, "There ain't nothin' civil bout war".

11-23-2005, 06:35 PM

Nov 23, 2005
"Increased naval military maneuvers and submarine sonars in the world's oceans are threatening dolphins, whales and porpoises that depend on sound to survive, a United Nations report said on Wednesday. According to the report, the use of powerful military sonar is harming the ability of some 71 types of cetaceans -- whales, dolphins and porpoises -- to communicate, navigate and hunt.
"While we know about other threats such as over-fishing, hunting and pollution, a new and emerging threat to cetaceans is that of increased underwater sonars," Mark Simmonds of the Whale and Dolphin Society told Reuters. "These low frequency sounds travel vast distances, hundreds if not thousands of kilometers from the source."
In October, a coalition of environmental groups sued the U.S. Navy over its use of sonar, saying the ear-splitting sounds violated environmental protection laws. The navy said it was studying the problem but said sonar was necessary for national defense.
Animal protection groups have for years lobbied to restrict the use of sonar, saying the sound blasts disorient the sound-dependent creatures and causes bleeding from the eyes and ears.
Simmonds said in recent years, western governments have developed stealthier submarines the detection of which requires more powerful, low-frequency sonars.
The report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) says species like the Beluga whale, Blanville's beaked whale and the Goosebeak whale are seriously at risk.
Researchers found that a stranding of 12 Goosebeak whales in the Ionian Sea in the 1990s coincided with NATO tests of an acoustic submarine detection system.... Tests on the bodies of seven whales that died near Gran Canaria in 2002 found haemorrhages and inner ear damage, which experts said was caused by high-intensity, low-frequency sonar used in the area. "This is a hugely serious concern as these animals need sound to navigate, to find their food, to communicate and to mate," said Simmonds. There are no laws governing noise pollution in the world's oceans..."


11-23-2005, 10:05 PM
Thanks Aplus.I read that earlier and was going to post it too.You can say what you want,and all you want,about diseased mammals and herding instincts,but you will not convince me that the subs of several nations are not causing these calamities.It's happening all over the world.And none of us really knows,and environmentalists will not find out,what new top secret jamming devices are being tested.

11-23-2005, 10:16 PM
Does suck. It's a shame... :( :(

fish militia
11-24-2005, 04:44 AM
It does suc,but every living organism is affected by War..

and these marine animals now suffer cause of it, even though there is no current Naval Battles..

I hope that a better detection system,that is less harmfull on the enviroment can be developed,while maintaining the ability to detect the more sophisticated Subs...

11-24-2005, 11:57 AM
this is a sad thing to see. :(

11-29-2005, 02:22 AM
Well, I have a quite a few friends that have been or are Submariners - they tell me that from their experience almost all subs use nothing by passive sonar, as a sub broadcasting a sonar signal just tells everything in the ocean where they are. A matter of fact, many whale biologists, as well as other studing other aquatic animals, are using some the passive sonar technology in tracking whale from thousands of miles away.

If there is active sonar in the area, it is coming from naval anti-sub efforts, either training or tracking something under the water. Or civilian sonar.

Why is it that everyone always blames the navy/military for problems, there is FAR more sound pollution from fishing and other vessels than the navy.

Think about it for a minute - the best weapon a sailor/soldier has is stealth - if you enemy has no idea where you are, they are at your mercy, both on offense and defense. It makes little sense to broadcast you presence to all in the area.

BTW, I am no government apologist, but I believe I look at things rationally.

No matter the reason, the strandings are tragic and I really do wish we could do something to prevent standings, I just don;t know if it is possible.


03-29-2006, 08:27 PM
NOAA just released this report on the whale deaths. No clear reason as to why they beached themselves. :rolleyes:

03-29-2006, 08:55 PM
This won't help any:

Concern over new US Navy sonar training range
"The US Navy is preparing to install a 660-square-mile sonar training range off the coast of North Carolina, despite concerns that sonar can harm marine life, including whales and dolphins. The US Navy claims an Atlantic Ocean sonar range is necessary for the training of sailors and pilots to detect a new generation of submarines. Unlike the deep water submarines used in the Cold War, new, quieter vessels can travel into coastal waters..."


03-29-2006, 10:54 PM
Here's the AP wire story:

03-29-2006, 11:20 PM

"...There is no pathology implicating sonar as a cause of the stranding..."
"...The association between the naval sonar activity and the location and timing of the event could be a causal rather than a coincidental relationship..."

If'n that ain't gubmint gobbledygook I don't know what is.