Department of Conservation rangers are checking beaches at Farewell Spit this morning for any signs that a pod of whales restranded overnight.

Most of the 50 pilot whales that had stranded at Golden Bay were refloated yesterday and were last seen swimming strongly in deeper water.

One whale was found dead this morning and DoC rangers were checking beaches for any sign of the 45 survivors.

Four other whales died earlier.


The whales are thought to be from a pod of about 70 which stranded at Farewell Spit at the weekend.

Some have died and, despite the best efforts of rescuers, the rest kept restranding.

Last week eight whales were euthanised after stranding themselves twice at Farewell Spit. A ninth whale, which had not been seen at the beach, also had to be put down after it became stranded.

Last week 27 pilot whales had to be put down after becoming beached at the spit. A further 12 had already died from natural causes after being stranded.