Fisheries officers and Aboriginal Fishery Guardians took part in a whale rescue training exercise on Nov. 27 on Ridley Island.
The group practiced using the equipment necessary to safely return and release a beached whale back into the ocean.
“If we do get a large stranded killer whale, we do want to be able to respond and hopefully rescue the animal,” said Paul Cottrell, regional marine rescue program coordinator for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. “This training is designed to have officers and equipment all over British Columbia ready to respond and rescue live stranded killer whales.”
Cottrell said that the rescue equipment has to be used in a specific way for it to be effective, and the exercises put the officers in realistic scenarios so they would be prepared in the event of a real beaching.
“Of course it’s all about learning and making mistakes and we want to do that here when we’re training and not with a real whale,” he said.