Beachgoers help rescue whale stranded on Indian Shores Beach

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A Largo woman was among those helping to rescue a stranded whale Friday morning on the beaches at Indian Shores.

“I felt like a mom with my baby who needed help. That’s what it felt like,” said Bonnie Charity.

She was walking the beach when she and another man spotted an adult male melon-headed whale that had stranded itself. They called 911.

“We knew enough to keep his blowhole up. He was on his side when we found him. He was moving some and struggling,” Charity said. “I’m like, 'Breathe, breathe!' I was so worried about him,” she said.

She spent more than an hour by his side.

“They're really more of an offshore species so it coming into shore is indicative that something is wrong. It was coming in to strand,” said Kerry Sanchez.

Sanchez is part of the rescue team with Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

“We were able to dispatch people and to stabilize the animal get the animal in good condition and the animal was deemed a candidate for rehabilitation,” she said.

The whale is being treated at SeaWorld in Orlando. Early reports say he swam unsupported at the facility and has no visible injuries. He’ll undergo further testing over the next week or so.

“If I know that he's OK and SeaWorld has him, he’s going to be put back in the wild, it would be the most awesome experience I ever had,” Charity said.