5 Pilot whales go back to sea

Rescue teams managed to save five of the 19 whales who docked Noordhoek beach in Cape Town.

Volunteers drape wet towels over one of the 19 beached pilot whales at Noordhoek beach in Cape Town on 24 March 2013. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Five of the 19 Pilot whales that beached at Noordhoek beach have been taken out to sea.

The National Sea Rescue Institute said the five whales were placed on trailers and transported to the Simonstown Naval Base before being taken out to sea.

The institute's Craig Lambinon said nine others have been euthanized while another five died naturally.

He explained how the animals were put down.

"In this case it was a high velocity rifle, it was used by a veterinary surgeon to immediately put the animal down without any pain, which is the most humane way of doing it."

Meanwhile the Cape Town disaster management department said waste removal teams are still removing the carcases of the 14 dead Pilot whales.

The department's Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said the beach remains closed.

"The city's solid waste management department is in the process of lifting the carcasses which will be taken to the Vissershok Landfill site and be disposed of."