Days after a father of two celebrated helping prevent a large whale from beaching itself, details of a fresh sighting have left him worried the animal may not survive.
Fremantle man Ori Weiser had been visiting Port Beach on Saturday with his daughters Billie, 12, and Anna, 11, and wife Trevi when they noticed the whale on the horizon.
“It kept coming closer, and closer. We couldn’t believe it. There was some commotion, people swimming, a few boats out and a chopper. It seemed crowded and noisy, so I went in to try and defend it or help,” he said.
Moment father jumps into ocean to help save whale
Joined by a handful of other men, Weiser dived under the water to get a better view of the sperm whale.
“We got very close. I was looking near its mouth and eye and it appeared sad and tired. But it was massive. Every time he moved his tail or blew his hole it was incredible,” he said.
“In the moment you’re put in your place — a little human in front of a dinosaur.”
Underwater, Weiser was able to hear a loud clanging and he became concerned it could be related to the whale’s unfortunate predicament.
“It was like a mechanical sound. I don’t know if was the boats, but it wasn’t a nice comfy sound. I thought the whale might have been distressed,” he said.
Concerned it was continuing to turn towards the shore, the group began trying to encourage the whale to return to the ocean.
“I know you’re not to touch them, I know the rules. But it felt disorientated and we needed to help it. We all were telling it: You got to get out there. We need you to swim out.”
Why the whale was a special sight for Ori's family
Originally from Israel, Weiser and his family had been celebrating Hanukkah when they saw the whale come into shore, giving the encounter special significance.
“It was magical. Hanukkah is all about miracles and light over darkness and trying to make the world better,” he said.
“We’re not religious, but we took it as a sort of omen.”
Since arriving in Australia nine years ago, Weiser has developed a reputation as a “whale whisperer” of sorts.
Two years ago, a southern right whale mother and her calf approached him in the water on several occasions around Cottesloe Beach.
“She just came up to me and it was the most amazing thing. The next three days wherever I was, she would come,” he said.
Fresh concerns for Perth's sperm whale
On Monday, as Weiser spoke with Yahoo, in a sad twist he heard news that the whale had once again swam into shore.
He stayed on the phone as he drove to Rockingham beach, parked his car and wandered to the beach. He was immediately dismayed to see a crowd of onlookers and police watching the whale which was swimming close to the shore.
Because the animal was remaining relatively still, he became concerned about its health and feared the situation could end in tragedy. “I hope by trying to help we did just didn’t delay the inevitable,” a concerned Weiser said.
This week's events follow an up-close encounter a wind surfer had with a breaching whale at Mona Vale beach in Sydney’s north.
While the ocean giants are not usually aggressive to humans, because of their size, they can accidentally cause harm or even death.
Yahoo News Australia has contacted Surf Live Saving Australia and Western Australia’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) for comment.
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