The Rescue Pontoons were designed by our team member Steve Whitehouse in 1983 and they were first implemented in 1986 and have proved their worth time and time again. They have been instrumental in saving literally 1000’s of pilot whales and other species around the world. The history of these pontoons is described here.
Whale Rescue is a volunteer organisation, run by volunteers. There are lots of different ways that you can help us to continue rescuing whales and dolphins.
At a number of strandings in 2010, our co-founders noted the need for upgrading and redesigning the existing systems in use for lifting cetaceans. Due to pilot whales being dropped during transportation and rescue personnel being at risk from this and equipment failure, it was clear that a safer and more efficient method was required. Whale Rescue worked closely with Department of Conservation to redesign the lifting equipment.
Floppy has attended multiple mass and individual strandings. She is experienced in the use of refloatation Rescue Pontoons and other rescue equipment. Floppy has served on the Board of another stranding rescue group where she was also a trainer and area coordinator.
Ingrid has attended numerous mass and individual strandings. She is experienced in sampling and data collection at these events, and in the use of refloatation Rescue Pontoons and other rescue equipment. She has served on the Board and was a trainer for another stranding rescue group.
From a background as the NZ Whale Rescue Coordinator and a Fisheries Officer, Steve went on to design and implement both the Marine Mammal Medic (MMM) course, including full procedure manuals and the Whale Rescue Refloatation Pontoon System in the 1980s. Originally designed to train DoC staff and authorities in effective whale rescue techniques, Steve later redeveloped the MMM course for the layperson.