If you hear about a stranding or are called out to assist you'll need to prepare well before leaving. Weather conditions can change quickly in New Zealand and strandings can last several days. A lot of people arrive badly prepared and put themselves and other people at risk. That's why we recommend you prepare a grab bag in advance.
Grab bag items
- Medic ID card & stranding cue card (if you're a Project Jonah Marine Mammal Medic) and your high visibility vest
- Appropriate clothing: wetsuit, windproof / waterproof jacket, a woolen hat or beanie, sturdy shoes or wetsuit booties, shorts and a rash vest or long-sleeved shirt, additional warm clothing, including thermals
- Sunglasses, sun block, sunhat
- High energy food and lots of water
- Toiletries, insect repellant and personal medication
- Disposable gloves and hand sanitiser
- Sleeping bag, groundsheet, torch, camping stove
- Mobile phone (in a zip lock bag) and cash
- Bags for wet stuff
Whale first aid items
- Old sheets (preferrably light-coloured)
- Pillow cases (these can be filled with sand and used as sandbags)
- A shovel
When you arrive at the stranding site, report to the officer in charge and ask what you can do to help. Lock any expensive, personal items in your car and only take what you think you’ll need onto the beach. Sadly, cameras and money have been stolen from bags left unattended on the beach during a stranding.