Four pilot whales stranded near Ólafsvík, West Iceland yesterday evening, mbl.is reports. Three of the whales managed to return to sea of their own accord, while one died in the shallows. The whales were part of a large pod numbering some hundred animals, which was swimming 100-200m (330-650ft) from the shore.
Pilot whale pods have been seen close to shore very often this summer in West and Southwest Iceland. Around 50 pilot whales stranded near Garður, Southwest Iceland just earlier this month. Rescue workers managed to save 30 of them.
Kristinn Jónasson, mayor of Snæfellsbær, says a pilot whale pod has been spotted in the ocean near Ólafsvík this summer. “Three weeks ago there was one out at Rif, around 150 of them, then people came on jet skis and drove them out.”
Experts from the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute measured the dead beached whale and took samples from the corpse around noon today.