20 March 2014

37 Dolphins Strand at Cape Ray Newfoundland

On 18 March 2014, between 30 and 40 white-beaked dolphins died near Cape Ray. Wayne Ledwell said, “The conditions were pretty severe out there as far as wind, and eventually they succumbed to the stress of being in the situation they were in.” He did not observe the actual stranding but felt that the dolphins probably panicked and drowned. The video below looks to me more like they were slammed hard between large chucks of ice and the rocky coast.

I have been in many situations where a strong wind blows surface ice both into and away from shore, depending on the direction of the wind. It is very common for ice to be blown from one side of the Gulf to the other in this area. In my opinion, a strong shoreward wind (25 to 40 knots) blew the non-navigating dolphins into the rocky coastline near Cape Ray. They had no idea which way to swim to get back to deep water. The strong winds then blew in large chucks of ice on top of them.. They were killed or injured by being slammed around between the heavy ice chucks and the rocky shore. Sharks were likely feeding on any dolphins that were not in the really shallow water.




This mass stranding was caused by intense pressure changes generated above the epicenter of an undersea earthquake that occurred about 5,300 km upstream 366 km ESE of Nord, Greenland, between Northeast Greenland and Svalbard. This was a strong thrusting event and extremely whale dangerous. It occurred on 20 February, and was perfectly timed for the stranding 24 days later on 16 March (Sunday afternoon). http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=360899#scientific
View various locations on Google Maps

The way I see it, the injured white-beaked dolphin pod swam with the flow of the surface currents that run south along the east coast of Greenland. The current swings west as it rounds the southern tip of Greenland. It then flows west to the edge of Newfoundland/Labrador (Labrador Sea) before turning south again.

The non-navigating pod would have neared the mouth of the Straits of Belle Isle and may have came within sight of Belle Isle. They were draw into the Straits on an incoming tide into the Gulf of St Lawrence. The surface currents then guided them slowing out of the Gulf through Cabot Strait.

The pod was spotted Sunday morning close to an area known locally as Northwest Cove. Shortly afterwards, they were washed ashore near Cape Ray in a near-gale force shoreward wind. They were beaten and bloodied while being knocked into large chucks of Ice.

Local News Coverage

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2015
Dec 09: Whale Dangerous Earthquake South of Perth 
Dec 09: Seaquake causes dolphins to strand Baja California   
Nov 23: Seaquakes kill 322 baleen whales in Chile    (shocking)  
Aug 24: NOAA whale scientists dumbfounded   
Aug 14: stranded dolphin is determined to be deaf   
Aug 08: seaquake causes pilot whales to strand Nova Scotia   
Jul   27: is our stranding solution flawed as scientists claim   
Jun  01: pilots stranded Isles of Skye from Reykjanes Ridge   
May 22: dead whales washing ashore on the California Coast   
May 10: earthquake kills 20 Sei Whales near Chile Coast   
Apr  10: seaquake strands 150 melon-headed whales in Japan   

2014   
Dec 25: navigation failure in mass stranded whales  (most popular)   
Dec 08: seaquake causes 7 sperm whales to beach Australia   
Nov 24: seaquake beaches 3 sperm whales at Golden Bay   
Nov 04: seaquake beaches 60 pilot whales in Bay of Plenty   
Oct 29: nine pilot whales strand on Prince Edward Island   
Apr  11: 60 pilot whales beach in Bay of Plenty   
Mar 20: Cape Ray Newfoundland 37 dolphins beach   
Mar 14: undersea quakes louder than nuclear explosions   
Mar 13: seaquakes cause whale strandings 32 million years   
Mar 02: blue whale killed by seaquake in Kuwait   
Feb 27: seaquake kills young killer whale   
Feb 23: predicting mass beachings based on seaquakes   
Feb 21: lessons in understanding why whales beach   
Feb 18: seaquake Greenland Sea kills 3 sperm whales   
Feb 12: nine orcas killed by seaquake   
Jan 30: Cape Cod mass stranding predicted   
Jan 20: seaquake causes 39 pilot whales to strand Florida   
Jan 16: seaquakes beach 65 pilot whales in Golden Bay   
Jan 05: seaquake beaches 30 pilot whales in Golden Bay   

2013   
Dec 06: why did pilot whales beached in the everglades?   
Apr 30: seaquake beaches 6 killer whales in Iceland   
Apr 25: beached whales stop war games   

2012   
Dec 08: seaquake beach pilot whales South Carolina   
Nov 15: pilot whales beach at Golden Bay, New Zealand   
Nov 04: seaquake causes two pods to beach at King Island   
Oct 28:  pilot whales strand on North Andaman Island   
Oct 17: earthquakes cause New Zealand whale stranding   
Sep 09: earthquake kills pregnant sperm whale   
Sep 03: seaquake strands pilot whales in Scotland   
Aug 24: two quakes cause near beaching in Cape Verde   
Jul  28:  200 Pilot Whales Northwest of Iceland   
Mar 19: Four Sperm Whales Wash Ashore in China   

2011   
Dec  31: world's rarest whales killed by earthquake   
Mar 06: 52 melon-headed dolphins strand in Japan   

2008   
Nov 20: 52 Pilot Whales Stranded in Tasmania


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