Successful rescue often depends on properly trained volunteers.
That’s where you come in.
We offer a one day course and once trained you’ll be added to our national callout list. That means that when a stranding occurs your lifesaving skills can be called upon.
Each year, hundreds of whales and dolphins strand on our shores. Whilst some are sick or injured, others are healthy and just need a helping hand back out to sea. But saving whales isn’t as easy as it looks and successful rescue often depends on properly trained volunteers. That’s where you come in.
2022 – 2023 Summer Training Courses
Auckland – Saturday 17 September (sold out)
Auckland – Sunday 18 September (sold out)
New Plymouth – Saturday 15 October (closed)
Whanganui – Sunday 16 October (sold out)
Christchurch – Saturday 12 November (sold out)
Kaikoura – Sunday 13 November (closed)
Wellington – Saturday 3 December (sold out)
Golden Bay – Saturday 25 February
Nelson – Sunday 26 February (sold out)
Tauranga – Saturday 18 March (sold out)
Tauranga – Sunday 19 March (limited places)
Cost: $135 ($99 for students with valid ID).
Minimum age to take part in the course is 15 years old. Courses are subject minimum number of participants and may be cancelled if this is not reached. View our cancellation policy here.
Our one-day course is split into two parts;
The morning session is made up of lectures and presentations. We’ll cover the adaptation and anatomy of dolphins & whales, their behaviours & social structures, and the reasons why they may strand. We will take a look at stranding rescue techniques, key roles & responsibilities and personal health & safety.
In the afternoon we relocate to the beach to put your newfound knowledge and skills to the test. We’ll practice first aid on our life-size, life-weight model dolphin and pilot whale and get to grips with rescue equipment including our dolphin lifting mats and specialised rescue pontoons.
By the end of the course you’ll be trained to:
- Assist in the rescue of stranded whales and dolphins
- Act as a role model to untrained rescuers
- Understand the roles and responsibilities at a stranding
- Avoid potential hazards for people and whales
You will receive:
- A comprehensive handbook
- A Project Jonah lanyard
- A stranding cue card
- A marine mammal medic ID card
- A certificate of course completion
- A high-viz vest.
- Most importantly, you will be added to our national database for future stranding call-outs.
Testimonials from Our Course
“The course was so well put together, so information packed and so well presented. The work with the 'whales' on the beach was perfect for giving us a feel for how strenuous and physically demanding a real rescue must be.”Thom DoddWhitianga
“Do it, become a Marine Mammal Medic - if only to be asked by kids, 'what kind of whale are you saving, will it be OK?', and be able to answer, 'it's a rubber whale, I hope so'.”Julian BarnettAuckland
“Doing the medic course is a bit like taking out insurance – you hope it’s something you’ll never have to use, but it’s good to know you’ve got it just in case.”Cameron SangWellington
“Great course. Dedicated, knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff who know how to communicate with people as well as care for whales and dolphins.”Sam FarmerAuckland
“This is an excellent course, proving just the right blend of theory and practical work.”John MoodyNelson
“The course was recommended to me by friends and I have already recommended it to others. Keep up the good work!”Stephanie ByrneAuckland
“The course itself is well structured; involving presentation, discussion, short videos and hands-on practical experience. The practical part of the course was especially useful as it highlighted the importance of teamwork and put our newfound skills to the test.”Rachel AgnewWhangarei
“I was blown away by the passion and knowlege of the people involved. I now feel confident that if a stranding happens, I'll be able to do the right thing and make a positive difference.”Vera HuehnAuckland