23 Jan 2012

Pilot whales stranded on Farewell Spit beach

9:19 pm on 23 January 2012

Department of Conservation's area manager John Mason says five of the whales have died.

He says members of the public are trying to keep the rest cool by covering them with wet sheets.

It's hoped the whales may float free on the next high tide at about 11.20 pm on Monday.

Mr Mason says the public will be asked to leave the beach at 9pm as darkness falls for their own safety.

It's the second time this month a pod of pilot whales has stranded at the same spot.