Hundreds of volunteers formed a human chain in the shallows of a remote beach in New Zealand as they tried desperately to save hundreds of pilot whales that have beached themselves there, NBC News reported.
About three-quarters of the whales had already died by the time they were discovered Friday morning at a place called Farewell Spit on South Island. The incident is being called one of the worst whale beachings in New Zealand's history.
An official from New Zealand's Department of Conservation said about 300 volunteers had joined conservation workers on the beach. She said rescuers had re-floated the whales at high tide and had formed the human chain to try to prevent them swimming back ashore.
The Department of Conservation official said whale strandings occur most years at Farewell Spit, but the scale of this stranding had come as a shock. She said farmers and other locals were helping out and people were also arriving from other parts of the country.