Around 13 pilot whales are stranded near the base of Farewell Spit and the Department of Conservation (DOC) is trying to prevent another 50 or so in the pod stranding, media reported citing a DOC statement.

DOC officers are using a boat to try to shepherd the whales still afloat out to sea.

DOC Takaka ranger Greg Napp said volunteers were helping protect the stranded whales from the sun and would also help re-float the whales with the incoming tide late on Tuesday.

"We are hoping we can get them afloat and further out to sea before dark when it would become unsafe for people to work in the sea trying to re-float the whales," Napp said in the statement.

A pod of 39 long-finned pilot whales died after stranding themselves on Farewell Spit on January 6.


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