Some 70 pilot whales swam into a west Iceland harbour, with many more just further out to sea. Not all of them made it back out.
Vísir reports that up to 70 pilot whales swam into the harbour village of Rif in Snæfellsnes yesterday. This event is highly unusual for many reasons: pilot whales are not so common in west Iceland, whales seldom swim directly into harbours and, when they do, usually not in such large numbers.
Attempts were made by locals to herd the whales back out to sea. This undertaking proved difficult, as bad weather in the region worked against sailing.
This morning, most of the whales appeared to have found their way back to sea, but not all of them were so fortunate. Ten whales died at some point in the night or early morning.
Ólafsvík resident Þröstur Albertsson told reporters, “It was horrible to witness the animals suffering,” adding that many of the whales have made their way further east. Þröstur also said that locals were quick to make use of the dead whales left behind.
Below you can see a video taken by Daði Hjálmarsson, showing some of the pilot whales in Rif harbour: