Instead of triumph, the final minutes of the rescue ended in confusion and some embarrassment. “It appeared that one of the whales was responding very negatively to being placed in the water. We had dedicated several male members to hold this particular whale below the waterline,” said society president Gilles Bourdon. “After several minutes of struggle, it became apparent that the whale was in fact a New Brunswick resident who had been sunbathing near the pod.”
The victim of the rescue was identified as a Ms. Melissa Gaudet. Gaudet is said to be shaken, but recovering at her home in Shediac, N.B.
Bourdon defended the competency of his society. “In situations like this, it has become increasingly difficult to tell a New Brunswicker apart from distressed aquatic mammals.”
“Stay away from these beached pods,” advised Const. Marvin Moulette of the Codiac RCMP. “The biological profile of the typical New Brunswick resident has become increasingly aligned with that of our large aquatic neighbours. The unfortunate reality is that we do expect to see similar instances in the future.”
Gaudet did not respond to requests for comment.