Locals gathered by the injured whale, with video footage capturing ongoing community efforts to save it.
The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service was called to the whale’s location around 6.15am, as locals with buckets poured sea water on the animal.
Representatives from the department and marine specialists confirmed the whale was healthy, as rangers worked to move the whale back to sea.
The task was made more challenging by the conditions of the tide, however four hours and two attempts later, rangers and lifeguards were able to pull the whale back into the ocean.
“The tide is coming in now, which means our team is attempting to guide the whale into deeper waters,” a Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service spokesperson said.
Locals were advised to keep away from the area in a bid to keep the whale calm.
At 10am, the whale was successfully returned to the ocean with only superficial wounds.
Police, surf lifesavers and whale watchers have all been thanked by wildlife experts for their efforts returning the whale to safety, with hopes it will survive.
The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service said it’s unclear how the minke whale became beached.
“Strandings can happen for many different reasons including misadventure and poor health, and can occur anywhere along the Queensland coast,” it said.
Hervey Bay is a renowned whale watching spot, with an estimated 1200 humpback whales stopping to seek shelter in the bay’s warm waters during their annual migration down Australia’s east coast.
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