First known sighting for Tristan

Tristan boys attempt daring rescue of beached Killer Whale Calf

Report and photos from Tristan Head of Conservation Department Trevor Glass
with additional reporting by
Tristan Government Environmental and Conservation Policy Officer Stephanie Martin

During a trip by boat led by Trevor on Thursday 16th January, a killer whale calf was spotted on a beach near Sandy Point, on Tristan's east coast.

Two boys, 13 year-old Kieran Glass and Trevor's 12 year-old son Tristan, went ashore and attempted to push it back into the water. Then they attached a line and the whale was pulled off the beach using the power of the RIB's engine to haul it off. The whale was very disoriented and had several injuries, thought to be shark bites. Unfortunately, the whale rebeached itself again and was there when they left. On checking the following day, there was no sign of the beached whale.

Usually when whales strand, there is some underlying illness contributing to the situation. Also this killer whale was most likely a calf of the year that had been separated from its pod (family group) and would have been vulnerable to shark attacks.

Stephanie is checking other experts to check the type of killer whale and we will report any further information here in due course.


The killer whale calf marooned on the beach.


The boys attempt to push it back to sea.

Approaching the stranded killer whale calf with a line.

The line is attached to the whale's tail.

The whale re-beached before the team left on Thursday 16th January.