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Last Updated: Sunday November 23 2008 14:20 GMT

Stranded whales swim back to sea

Buckets of water and wet blankets were used to keep the whales alive

Rescue teams worked through the night trying to save a pod of pilot whales that got stranded on a beach in the north west of Tasmania.

The pod of 64 mothers and calves were found at Anthony's Beach on Saturday night, but many had already died.

The 11 survivors were kept alive using buckets of water and wet blankets before being moved to deeper waters at a nearby beach to swim back out to sea.

Some were fitted with tracking devices so scientists can study where they go.

It's hoped the whales will join another pod when they reach the Bass Strait, which separates the island of Tasmania from southern Australia.

But scientists are also hoping that by studying the whales' movements, they can work out why so many of the animals end up stranded on beaches in that part of the world.