2 distressed melon-headed whales rescued after becoming stranded on Clearwater beach

SAND KEY, Fla. (AP) — Crews worked to help two melon-headed whales distressed in shallow waters on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

With scores of beachgoers watching on Wednesday morning, teams from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Clearwater Fire Rescue used large blue bags to move the whales from the water off Sand Key to a large Marine Life Rescue truck.

Melon-headed whales look much like dolphins and typically thrive in deeper water.

Officials say they’re not sure what caused the whales to become distressed.

Red tide, which is a naturally-occurring algae that poisons fish, has been blamed for killing marine life, including turtles, dolphins and manatees. But officials say only low levels of red tide have been detected in the waters off Clearwater.


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