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Last Updated: Monday March 02 2009 15:27 GMT

Dozens of stranded whales saved

Race to save stranded whales

People in Australia have saved the lives of dozens of whales and dolphins who stranded themselves on a beach.

Almost 200 pilot whales and six dolphins were found on a beach on an island near Tasmania on Sunday, and people have been battling to save them.

Almost 50 of them have been returned to the sea, but 140 whales were dead when they were found.

There are worries that the saved animals could swim back to the shore, but at the moment they are safe.

Stretchers were used to pull the whales into the water, and they then used jet skis and small boats to guide them to deeper water.

The whales are in Tasmania
Shelley Davison, a Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman, said: "It's too early to say yet but it's been a very, very positive day."

It's not the first time whales have died in the area.

More than 400 whales have died in Tasmanian waters recently and scientists are trying to work out exactly what the cause is.