UPDATE 7:34 pm: The whale is currently being pulled from the beach. Its species is either a Gervais’s beaked whale or True’s beaked whale; it was previously reported it may be a Cuvier’s beaked whale.
UPDATE 7:26 pm: The whale has been confirmed to be a female by a biologist and the euthanasia has been administered.
UPDATE 7:12 pm: Those familiar with the situation say the whale has come ashore and gone back out multiple times in the day.
UPDATE 7:08 pm: Following the euthanasia, the whale will be taken to SeaWorld Orlando for a necropsy.
FLAGLER BEACH – A rarely seen beaked whale washed ashore in Flagler Beach Friday afternoon, police and scientists have confirmed. The species is either a Gervais’s beaked whale or a True’s beaked whale according to a SeaWorld researcher on the scene.
The whale was spotted tumbling in from the surf break at around 2:00pm Friday, and locals quickly assembled to try and render aid. Towels were placed over the animal to try and prevent overheating, and it was turned away from the waves to prevent water from flooding its blowhole.
Beaked whales are extremely uncommon sights according to leading marine biologists, and so the beaching of one in Flagler Beach is a highly unusual occurrence. The species is known to primarily inhabit deep waters far offshore, only coming in when sick.
The animal was still alive for hours after its beaching, and still is as of the writing of this article. Volunteers and scientists have been using buckets to pour water over it. Those on-scene say a veterinarian from SeaWorld visited to help make the call of whether to attempt to save the animal or to euthanize it. The determination was made that it would be euthanized and taken away with heavy equipment. It is reportedly around 16 feet long.
Just a couple months ago, back in January, an orca whale beached near Jungle Hut Road on the north end of the county. That too was considered a near-unprecedented happening. The beaked whale washed ashore not far north of the border between Flagler and Volusia counties.
More information will be added to this article as it becomes available.
March 24, 2023 at 7:26 pm
Are there any geotechnical survey vessels off shore mapping the seafloor in anticipation of multiple offshore wind turbines!? Like we have all up and down the NY, NJ, MD coasts!? Feds are staunchly saying the hypersonic blasts are not connected to the many recent whale and dolphin stranding and deaths!?
March 24, 2023 at 11:32 pm
If there’s any type of sonar mapping or surveying going on near or around that area when these events occurred I would raise questions. In NJ we have had multiple whale strandings at abnormal rates within a 5 month timespan. Including a mass pod of 8 dolphins this past week. The only major change along our coasts have been the survey vessels. It’s not a coincidence at this point.