Surfers tow dead whale out to sea to protect Angourie from Great White Sharks

Gemma Sapwell
Swellnet Dispatch

A surfer on the New South Wales north coast says he used a boat's anchor to drag a "monster" dead whale 50 metres out to sea to protect board riders from great white sharks feeding on its carcass.

David Treloar said he received a phone call from Laurie Towner on Monday morning that the 12-metre whale was floating offshore just north of Angourie.

"At the rate it was drifting it was going to drift onto Angourie Point. We decided that if it went onto the point it would be un-surfable for months," he said.

"That had happened before with sinew that had decayed and wrapped around the Point."

 

Crazy to see how much power these guys have!

A post shared by Hughie Towner (@hughietowner) on

David said they decided to tow the carcass themselves because authorities have previously failed to remove whales which had washed up on local beaches.

"They don't seem to want to know anything about it. There's one on the back beach already. They never came and moved that one," he said.

A spokesman for the Office of Environment and Heritage said it was illegal for the public to touch a dead whale.

"Whale carcasses remain protected. People are advised not to touch dead or rotting carcasses," the spokesman said.

David said he, Laurie and two other friends used a small boat to drag the whale away from beachgoers.

"We chucked the sand anchor around the flutes of the tail because no-one was going to jump in and put a rope around the tail," he said.

"We only moved it 50 metres because it was a 16-foot boat with a 30-horsepower [engine] trying to move a five-tonne whale, but we actually moved it past the Point."

Laurie posted footage of the whale and a warning on social media advising surfers to stay out of the water.

Kelly Slater weighed-in on social media, disagreeing that the dead whale put surfers in danger.

"Probably safest time to surf. They know they want that whale blubber and not some skinny surfers!" the 11-time world champion said.

Marine authorities said they had no plans to dispose of the whale carcass at this stage.

Deputy unit commander for Marine Rescue Iluka-Yamba, Jeff Clout, said he would wait until the carcass was beached before making a decision.

"The decision has been made to stand down, allow the carcass to drift in and once it's beached then we'll deal with it and dispose of it humanely," Mr Clout said.

Last week, the Department of Primary Industries told the ABC it was working with two PhD students from Southern Cross University to track shark movements around dead whales.

Lead scientist Paul Butcher said the DPI is using drones to track shark behaviour to help determine the best way to dispose of dead whales once they wash ashore.

"The ultimate aim of both PhD studies — through the drone project and the whale burial project — is to provide some protocols and some answers to ongoing questions that the public and the Government have asked: do whale burials attract sharks?" Mr Butcher said.

David said he found the experience of moving the whale while it was surrounded by sharks adrenaline-inducing.

"I can right now still smell the dead whale on my hand from the anchor rope slipping through it, and it's a massive whale," he said.

"The shark activity was insane. I mean, when we first got there, I reckon one shark might have been eight feet long with its head out of the water chewing into it.

"It's a monster whale and it's going to take a long time for that to disintegrate."

A dead whale washed up at Angourie beach in September 2017 but it was not buried. Photo: Steve Axford.

//Gemma Sapwell, Hannah Ross and Sarah Maunder
© Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Comments

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 7:08am

Think I can feel that gammy knee coming on.

Jof's picture
Jof's picture
Jof commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 7:19am

Good on ya lads. Government are retards and don't know how to act to protect people. If there was any fine i think a go fund me page would take care of it. So happy to see someone do something positive. Lets hope we see more of it.

offshoreozzie's picture
offshoreozzie's picture
offshoreozzie commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 7:32am

Towed it 50m..... erm, I know that put it off landing on the point proper (and read the logistical challenges of having a tiny boat) but I can't be the only one thinking that won't really dissipate the danger that much?

dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000 commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 7:41am

How do you humanely get rid of a dead fucken whale???? Fucken idiots

t-diddy's picture
t-diddy's picture
t-diddy commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 7:49pm

yea - 'The decision has been made to stand down, allow the carcass to drift in and once it's beached then we'll deal with it and dispose of it humanely," Mr Clout said.'

That is genius!!!! One can only hope he said that hahaha

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Thursday, 19 Jul 2018 at 12:23am

Blow it up.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Tuesday, 24 Jul 2018 at 9:32pm

build stuff around and make a musical event out of it. Slice it like you would Turkish Delight, build big fires to toast said morsels. I reckon it would be like Pork , but Porkier.

geoffrey's picture
geoffrey's picture
geoffrey commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 8:41am

does anyone know what they did with the baby whale that washed up and died at puckeys rivermouth in wollongong a week or so ago?

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Tuesday, 24 Jul 2018 at 9:34pm

Nope

Bungan33's picture
Bungan33's picture
Bungan33 commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 9:04am

That's like your favourite restaurant opening its doors and saying "All you can eat - and completely free.....for a month!". I'd live there too.....that's going to be a squirming hell of doubt and uncertainty for the Angourie locals next time they are standing there watching the point fire.....

The Fire's picture
The Fire's picture
The Fire commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 9:17am

A dead whale is a BIG problem. And dead whale exploded into millions of SMALL pieces..

Peace maaaan..

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 11:48am

different sharks
for different parks,
in angourie,
yogic treehouse tradie thruster themeland
the land based sharks,
have been circling,
unculled for 40 years,
the ex-pro's dreamland
DA is before council,
artists colony,
and bullshit artist colony,
another board factory's
sponno dudes
pros and
cons
and the sons of pros
and cons
boardriders comps
boardroom riders comps
apartments
investments
drones
in a feeding frenzy
of leviathan proportions
who can afford
decaying humpbacks?

another tourist

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Thursday, 19 Jul 2018 at 12:22am

and bullshit artist colony,
another board factory's
sponno dudes
pros and
cons
and the sons of pros
and cons
boardriders comps
boardroom riders comps

Elliedog's picture
Elliedog's picture
Elliedog commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 12:16pm

Wow....scary looking at that thing chomping away..Wouldn't it be cheaper and more realistic for DPI or such authority to tow a dead whale 50km's out to sea. By the time it hits land it may be so far up the east coast it wouldn't mater or it may be already eaten by whites and other large shark species???. a 2 day old humpback washed up into the nth corner on Treachery beach Saturday morning. Still had the umbilical cord atached. Orca did their best but couldn't get the poor thing around to a suitable launching point to get it back to sea in time therefore it died. they were going to bury it in an undisclosed location off the beach somewhere.

Luba

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 1:18pm

Really Kelly? Most attacks in WA have occurred very near whale activity or carcasses. Wouldn't think any different over east. Well done boys for giving it a go. 10 points fellas. I'd do the same. Get it the hell away from where people are in the water regularly, even if it washes around to a lesser used beach. I think we need a bigger boat.

walter-r-white's picture
walter-r-white's picture
walter-r-white commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 1:49pm

Kelly is just throwing shade at Laurie because Laurie surfed macking Cloudbreak better than Kelly. Any shark in the area heading towards the whale carcass could have a go at a surfer instead on the way. Ever missed a dinner reservation because you lost track of time at the pub on the way to the restaurant? Anything that draws sharks into spending more time on the coast (rather than out in deep waters) increases the likelihood of a run-in. That's my unqualified hypothesis.

Don't take me too seriously.

dandob's picture
dandob's picture
dandob commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 4:46pm

It's washed up in the yuragir national park on the south side of Shelley headland near Redcliffe. NPW and a research crew were up there observing shark behavior with a drone. Only a 2.5 mtr white spotted in cruise mode while I was there. No plans to dispose of it. Its been dead for a while judging by the amount of decomposition already. I would definitely steer clear of this area for at least the next 5 to 10 years.

The Fire's picture
The Fire's picture
The Fire commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 8:00pm

Haha !!
That last sentence.
Best zinger yet

Peace maaaan..

Bob Sacamano's picture
Bob Sacamano's picture
Bob Sacamano commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 2:43pm

Im kind of baffled as to why a dead carcass is protected? Surely towing it far out to sea or disposing of it in some controlled manner is a better solution than just letting it (possibly) drift into a beach full of swimmers and surfers? Kind of sounds like a bit of a 'head in the sand' policy - which seems to be the trend for similar instances in the past few years. That footage is pretty awesome, so is attempting to tow a 5 tonne whale surrounded by whites in a dinghy! Well done lads.

Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 2:54pm

You'd think this is only going to become a more common occurrence as whale numbers increase. Various coastal councils would do well to factor it into their coastal management plans hey.

ryder's picture
ryder's picture
ryder commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 3:12pm

The Office of E&H would be jumping up and down because they didn't get to it first. They hate it when the general public step on their toes. Don't even get me started on their controlled burning ideology.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Friday, 20 Jul 2018 at 8:26am

With you there Ryder.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 3:15pm

When are authorities going to take control of a situation like this.Really they could have easily have organised a trawler or police boat or whatever to drag it out wide,perfect day for it too.Now its going to rot and attract sharks to that whole area for ages.Baddy and the boys did well to get it out enough to miss the whole Anga /backbeach thing and well done to em,better off down the coast a few ks than in your own back yard,but still too close to home.

simba

dandob's picture
dandob's picture
dandob commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 3:38pm

Yer, but now its in my backyard! N.I.M.B.Y!

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 3:42pm

good

simba

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Thursday, 19 Jul 2018 at 12:51am

Northern, Imbecile, Buggererd, Yours

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 3:18pm

It's outrageous that we should be exposed to such risk! We need more protection from nature, more drones! Bring on the drones!

another tourist

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 4:59pm

"Whale carcasses remain protected."

As Nassim Taleb has observed, there is a class of 'Intellectuals Yet Idiots.'

Well done Baddy, that's local leadership. You've got to wonder if this will be a regular thing with Humpback numbers back at 25K or so...

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Friday, 20 Jul 2018 at 8:29am

Yeah VJ. I'm a big fan of NNT.

I am surrounded by intellectuals and constantly wonder at their naivety.

bassnake's picture
bassnake's picture
bassnake commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 5:10pm

Piss off with your comments KS, just goes to show just how out of touch you are with local surfers, best advice for you is get back to your pool and give advice there
Great job to the lads who saved the point from stinking rotten carcass fouling their local for months on end

Bass Strait

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 7:03pm

Look, I know it's hard to convey tone in the written word, particularly when it's as brief as a comment on an Instagram thread, but I'm pretty sure Kelly was just making a lighthearted attempt at humour. You know, joking and shit?

Don't let the bastards grind you down

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 5:10pm

"$hark expert. Robert $later"
The guy knows everything. ...........

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 12:17am

Which guidelines apply- National Surf Reserve or Yuraygir National Park.

Office of Environment & Heritage/NSW Govt conducted a review into Whale Carcasses.
Google & NSW Govt site returns intro only...if fellow swellnetonians could shed some light.
Perhaps someone here participated in study and has an email to share..be great.
Here's the address for feedback & overview into study (10 Nov 2017)

www.environment.nsw.gov.au/wildlifemanagement/deceased-whales-management...

Quint's picture
Quint's picture
Quint commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 6:11am

Ahhh the mudguard weighs in now. Celebrity scientists lol. Go away Robert.

Optimist's picture
Optimist's picture
Optimist commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 6:25am

Well done Baddy, Shame the boat didn't have enough muscle to dump it on Iluka...Keep the boys busy over there with something other than damaging cars.

lawncigar's picture
lawncigar's picture
lawncigar commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 8:01am

good on them. imagine if it beached in the point. the so called protection agency should have been onto it earlier and dropped it on a National Park beach. simple. Slater is a dud, delist.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 9:47am

"Deceased Whale Management Review (Final Report) Available late 2017/early 2018"

"The NSW Government acknowledges that providing the outcomes of the review is not a a single task,but aims to provide a pathway to ensure that Communities are effectively advised and engaged when whale disposal incidents occur in the future."

Again ...This report would be pretty handy about now...Perhaps it's under constant review?

Groper's picture
Groper's picture
Groper commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 10:50am

Review is awaiting Minister's Office approval.

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 2:16pm

Shelley Beach to Brooms,
is now teeming with sharks,
They're piling-up, old whale carcasses,
in the National Parks
No-one's netting mullet, it's not worth the risk,
Why risk going fishing,
only to become a fish
I seen big great whites there yesterday,
& the day before,
I won't be surfing there again,
in case I see any more
I'm going back to Angas,
where there's safety in countless crew,
whose drones fly overhead,
filming every thing they do
I'd rather be run over,
by cosmic-yobbos garn orf,
than surfing the serenity,
and end up bitten-off

another tourist

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Thursday, 19 Jul 2018 at 12:18am

Deceased Whale Management Poem

I am love with her and I feel fine

Floating about, the stink

I am love with her and I feel fine.

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Thursday, 19 Jul 2018 at 7:17am

Awwww Morty, that's lovely.
Aye there's nothing like whale carcass management for poetry

another tourist

saltyone's picture
saltyone's picture
saltyone commented Thursday, 19 Jul 2018 at 9:37am

fucking love this forum so much. gives me some small slither of hope for humanity .

nature is a wondrous thing.
great poem mort.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Thursday, 19 Jul 2018 at 2:26pm

Thanks Groper excellent detective work...did well to uncover that much.
Report by Dec/17 or July/18 by next Whale Season, certainly whenever would be better?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 19 Jul 2018 at 4:05pm

Interesting comment from Laurie T on his insta re the Whale Tow

Davo888's picture
Davo888's picture
Davo888 commented Thursday, 19 Jul 2018 at 10:49pm

Gemma Sapwell wrote:

A surfer on the New South Wales north coast says he used a boat's anchor to drag a "monster" dead whale 50 metres out to sea to protect board riders from great white sharks feeding on its carcass.

David Treloar said he received a phone call from Laurie Towner on Monday morning that the 12-metre whale was floating offshore just north of Angourie.

"At the rate it was drifting it was going to drift onto Angourie Point. We decided that if it went onto the point it would be un-surfable for months," he said.

"That had happened before with sinew that had decayed and wrapped around the Point."

 

Crazy to see how much power these guys have!

A post shared by Hughie Towner (@hughietowner) on Jul 15, 2018 at 8:42pm PDT

<script async="" defer="defer" height="" src="//www.instagram.com/embed.js" width=""></script>

David said they decided to tow the carcass themselves because authorities have previously failed to remove whales which had washed up on local beaches.

"They don't seem to want to know anything about it. There's one on the back beach already. They never came and moved that one," he said.

A spokesman for the Office of Environment and Heritage said it was illegal for the public to touch a dead whale.

"Whale carcasses remain protected. People are advised not to touch dead or rotting carcasses," the spokesman said.

David said he, Laurie and two other friends used a small boat to drag the whale away from beachgoers.

"We chucked the sand anchor around the flutes of the tail because no-one was going to jump in and put a rope around the tail," he said.

"We only moved it 50 metres because it was a 16-foot boat with a 30-horsepower [engine] trying to move a five-tonne whale, but we actually moved it past the Point."

Laurie posted footage of the whale and a warning on social media advising surfers to stay out of the water.

 

WARNING ! Do not surf the point or anywhere around home right now. Just had an epic experience watching a couple decent sized whites chopping into this whale that jut missed washing up on the point just now! Amazing to watch

A post shared by Laurie Towner (@laurietowner) on Jul 15, 2018 at 4:08pm PDT

<script async="" defer="defer" height="" src="//www.instagram.com/embed.js" width=""></script>

Kelly Slater weighed-in on social media, disagreeing that the dead whale put surfers in danger.

"Probably safest time to surf. They know they want that whale blubber and not some skinny surfers!" the 11-time world champion said.

Marine authorities said they had no plans to dispose of the whale carcass at this stage.

Deputy unit commander for Marine Rescue Iluka-Yamba, Jeff Clout, said he would wait until the carcass was beached before making a decision.

"The decision has been made to stand down, allow the carcass to drift in and once it's beached then we'll deal with it and dispose of it humanely," Mr Clout said.

Last week, the Department of Primary Industries told the ABC it was working with two PhD students from Southern Cross University to track shark movements around dead whales.

Lead scientist Paul Butcher said the DPI is using drones to track shark behaviour to help determine the best way to dispose of dead whales once they wash ashore.

"The ultimate aim of both PhD studies — through the drone project and the whale burial project — is to provide some protocols and some answers to ongoing questions that the public and the Government have asked: do whale burials attract sharks?" Mr Butcher said.

David said he found the experience of moving the whale while it was surrounded by sharks adrenaline-inducing.

"I can right now still smell the dead whale on my hand from the anchor rope slipping through it, and it's a massive whale," he said.

"The shark activity was insane. I mean, when we first got there, I reckon one shark might have been eight feet long with its head out of the water chewing into it.

"It's a monster whale and it's going to take a long time for that to disintegrate."

A dead whale washed up at Angourie beach in September 2017 but it was not buried. Photo: Steve Axford.

//Gemma Sapwell, Hannah Ross and Sarah Maunder
© Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Davo888's picture
Davo888's picture
Davo888 commented Thursday, 19 Jul 2018 at 10:55pm

The authorities don't know [email protected] Let nature do its thing and feed the food chain. Well done guys!!

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Friday, 20 Jul 2018 at 8:40am

Seems an obvious risk management response to tow the carcass way out to sea. I'm usually cautious about 'obvious' solutions but sometimes waiting for all the data to come in is the dumb thing to do.

Like when your house is burning down, don't wait for the data to be analysed, just get the f#%& out of there.

dandob's picture
dandob's picture
dandob commented Friday, 20 Jul 2018 at 8:28pm

So the story so far is that maritime had the whale under tow and were going to take it to brooms head to be taken away. Then they were then redirected to dump it in the national park because of the " remote location and low public use of the area". So why, why, why if they had it under tow didn't they drag the furker out to sea!

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 20 Jul 2018 at 9:03pm

Towed out 5 nautical miles would be far enough out into the currents ...full consumed in 4-5 days.

mattlock's picture
mattlock's picture
mattlock commented Tuesday, 24 Jul 2018 at 9:51pm

I'm glad we don't have any whales or white sharks in South Oz waters.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Tuesday, 24 Jul 2018 at 10:03pm

But you have nice bees and a fabled left hander, near the bees, no doubt. If you were going to commit suicide via surfing, this would be the place to do it. South Australia is so interesting, apparently.

mattlock's picture
mattlock's picture
mattlock commented Tuesday, 24 Jul 2018 at 10:12pm

Little do you know Mort. Plenty of lefts here and rights too! I'm originally a east coaster{30 yrs ago]. Something about the constant here swell got me.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Tuesday, 24 Jul 2018 at 10:30pm

Yes, I am a West Australian. When I started my trip, I came across Eastern states guys, they have dilbretaley missed S.A. I passed S.A, the nullarbour, I will get back there, it is important.

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