REDINGTON BEACH (CBSMiami) – Three of five distressed pilot whales, who beached themselves off Redington Beach, Florida were rescued and taken back out to deeper waters while two younger whales were taken to rehab facility in Tarpon Springs.

The whales were discovered early Monday morning on the beach, south of Clearwater.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, officials with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and marine biologists from the Clearwater Aquarium were on hand all day helping with the rescue effort.


Authorities set up tents and canopies over the whales as officials evaluated the animals and to protect them from the hot sun.

Officials from the Clearwater Aquarium say they are short-finned pilot whales, who often beach themselves if one of more whales in the pod are sick.

After several hours, biologists decided to guide three of the larger adult whales back out to sea and took the two younger whales to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s rehab facility in Tarpon Springs.

Experts there will try to diagnose and treat them.

The adult males have been tagged so rescuers can track their location and reunite them with the younger whales when they recover.