A large pod of pilot whales found stranded at Farewell Spit yesterday morning have successfully been refloated.
The pod of 62 whales were sheperded out into deep water by Department of Conservation rangers, Project Jonah volunteers and members of the public as the tide receded yesterday afternoon.
DoC reported most were swimming in deeper water towards the other side of Golden Bay and it was hoped that they would continue further out into the bay.
They were being monitored by the Tasman District Council harbourmaster.
But around six to eight whales remained close to Farewell Spit and were swimming further along the spit, said DoC spokeswoman Trish Grant.
They are being monitored by DOC rangers in a boat. She said it was too early to say yet whether or not the rescue effort would be fully successful.
"There is still a risk of whales restranding," said Ms Grant.