A humpback whale was spotted washed up against rocks on a headland at Hat Head, on the New South Wales Mid North Coast today.
Joshua Simpson, who is visiting the area, said he had been watching the whale struggle for some time this afternoon, in rough and very windy conditions.
“There’s a bit of swell out there at the moment, and he seems to keep getting battered up against the rocks, it’s not real good to watch,” he said
“It’s pretty rough and unforgiving and pretty sizeable swell rolling in, certainly not good conditions.
“Everyone is a bit beat up about it. No-one likes to see a majestic creature like that beat up on the rocks. There’s definitely a bit of a mood of sadness around.”
Mr Simpson said the whale appeared to be injured.
“We couldn’t see any bites, but certainly there are some injuries,” he said.
“There’s skin that’s been cut from the sharp rocks, there are some wounds on its belly and tail and fins, that are unfortunately bleeding.”
National Parks rangers and members from the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA) are on site assessing the situation.
ORRCA vice-president, Jools Farrell, said the 12-metre, mature whale had since been washed off the rocks and into deeper water, but concerns remained for its safety.
“We feel it could be an unwell whale, and that’s why it’s stranded,” she said.
“But at this stage, it’s very hard for us to say exactly.”