Whale rescued at city beach: video, photos

Please enable Javascript to watch this videoSITTING in the back of his rented camper van in the Horseshoe Beach carpark on Friday morning, German backpacker Gerd Wiegmann initially thought his eyes were playing tricks when he saw a ‘‘big black fish’’ swimming in the Newcastle Harbour.
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Rescuers push the whale out into the harbour at Newcastle’s Horseshoe Beach.

The 23-year-old followed the dark shadow around to the popular dog beach and watched it grow larger and larger until a 6-metre juvenile humpback whale came thumping onto the shore.

‘‘It was splashing and jumping around and another guy on the beach ran over to it and was trying to push it back in,’’ Mr Wiegmann said on Friday.

‘‘I went to help as well and there was about four of us trying to turn it around, it was very hard because he was lying on his fin and he was so heavy.’’

The small group – which included University of Newcastle student Xanthe Kerr and father-of-two Hayden Ferguson – successfully pushed the flailing whale off the sandbank and into deeper water.

But their rescue effort was far from done.

During the next half-an-hour or so, the humpback, which the National Parks and Wildlife Service said was likely sick or injured, floundered up and down the shore, attempting to beach itself four more times.

On each occasion the group of rescuers grew larger and more determined, finally standing waist deep in the water to prevent the whale from coming back to shore.

‘‘It swam in circles seemingly very confused and then headed into the deeper water of the main channel,’’ one of the rescuers, Benjie Williams, said.

‘‘The last I saw of it it was headed out through the heads towards the open ocean.’’

Mr Wiegmann said the experience of rescuing a whale was ‘‘incredible’’ and joked his friends back home would not believe him.

‘‘We were very happy when we saw it swimming back to the ocean, people were shaking hands and those on the beach were cheering,’’ he said.

Ms Kerr, who came to the beach to walk her dog, said she was shocked at first but quickly jumped into the water to join the others.

‘‘I always rescue the stray dog in the neighbourhood and take it to the vet, I can’t help myself,’’ she said.

‘‘But I’ve never done anything on this scale.’’

National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger Jo Erskine said the whale was possibly ill and would most likely try to beach itself again.

‘‘We’ll keep an eye on it, if it’s beached itself multiple times then there is always a reason for that,’’ she said.

‘‘If it comes back then we would cordon off the area so it doesn’t get distressed and get a vet, someone who is experienced in marina animals to come down and assess it.’’

Whale protection group ORCA member Trisha White urged people to call the authorities if they witnessed a whale beaching.

Nobbys beach lifeguard Travis Lynch said the whale looked injured and may have been attacked by a shark.

‘‘It just looked like it was having trouble swimming, but a few members of the public said that it had puncture wounds so it might have got attacked by a shark or something,’’ he said.

‘‘And it also had damage to one of its fins.’’

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Xanthe Kerr talks with NPWS Ranger Jo Erskine. Picture Darren Pateman

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Xanthe Kerr talks with NPWS Ranger Jo Erskine. Picture Darren Pateman

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. NPWS Ranger Jo Erskine. Picture Darren Pateman

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Xanthe Kerr talks with NPWS Ranger Jo Erskine. Picture Darren Pateman

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. National Parks and Wildlife Rangers at the beach. Picture Darren Pateman

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Trisha White , ORCA member. Picture Darren Pateman

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. one of the rescuers Gerd Wiegmann from Germany. Picture Darren Pateman.


‘Are you man enough for that woman?’: Penis-grabber fined for drunken act

A Bungendore man has expressed his shame and remorse after he grabbed another man’s penis and testicles during a night of drinking at the Royal Hotel, Bungendore.
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Paul Daniel pleaded guilty to common assault in Queanbeyan Local Court on Monday as a result of the incident.

Daniel’s solicitor Christina Lewis said her client couldn’t remember the events of Saturday, June 15 due to his state of intoxication.

According to police, the victim was having a drink at the hotel with his wife, a work colleague and the colleague’s partner.

Daniel, 32, walked up to the victim and his wife who were standing by the fireplace and asked “are you man enough to look after that woman?”

He then stood over the victim in what the police facts described as an “intimidating manner,” before reaching out and grabbing the victim’s penis and testicles.

The victim threw his hands up in shock and said “what are you up to?” before pulling himself away. The defendant released the victim, turned around and walked to the bar.

Local Magistrate Chris Bone described the incident on Monday as a “nasty little offence”.

“This is not a minor offence: it quite easily could’ve been an indecent assault,” Magistrate Bone said.

“In other respects he seems like a decent fellow. This is a man who makes bad decisions after he has had too much to drink.

“Was it a joke? It goes a bit further than that. It’s not someone’s first instinct to act like this; it wouldn’t occur to most people. It didn’t hurt the victim, perhaps it was done to shock him. It doesn’t seem motivated by sexual feeling. I’m not sure if it was done to ridicule him.

“At the end of the day it’s probably safe to say it was most likely an attempt by the accused to try to make the victim look silly in front of his wife.”

Ms Lewis said the assault was “out of character” and wasn’t premeditated.

“My client doesn’t recall that night very well because of his level of intoxication. He is extremely ashamed and remorseful and realises his actions were completely inappropriate and plain wrong,” she said.

“This incident came about after a few too many drinks, it was a night where things got a little bit out of hand.”

Magistrate Bone warned Daniel he was at risk of going to jail, but instead issued the accused an 18-month good behaviour bond and a $1000 fine.

“The main purpose of this is to minimise the chance of offending again,” Magistrate Bone said.

“You’re very, very close to going to jail and you should bear that in mind.”

– The Queanbeyan Age

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On the inside looking out

Cuban Ambassador Pedro Monzon Barata smoking a cuban cigar. Photo: Melissa Adams Detail from the US Embassy in Canberra. Photo: Travis Longmore
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Cuban Ambassador to Australia Pedro Monzon Barata holding a Cuban cigar. Photo: Melissa Adams

For Cuban ambassador Pedro Monzon Barata, the Cuban cigar is as vital to his happiness as the air he breathes.

Like Winston Churchill, who was rarely photographed without a Romeo y Julieta clenched between his teeth, or JFK – who famously instructed his press secretary to procure him 1200 H. Upmann Petit Upmann cigars one day before extending the US trade embargo in the fierce but tiny Communist country – Barata is an aficionado.

Since arriving in Canberra three years ago, he has maintained a steady supply of the sought-after Cuban exports – extolling their health benefits over cigarettes. ”Cuban cigars are much healthier than cigarettes; they’re all organic, and not that junk that people usually smoke.”

And, at upwards of $30 each – and sometimes hundreds of dollars a pop – they wouldn’t want to be.

The mystique of a genuine Cuban cigar will be experienced by 40 keen Canberrans who will sample a traditional hand-rolled Cohiba or Partagas while they sip on a Mojito – using Havana Club rum, no other – as part of Windows to the World.

Windows to the World is the diplomatic corps’ 100th-birthday gift to Canberra, with 35 embassies and high commissions throwing open their doors to the public in a series of open days each weekend for the next month.

Many Canberrans will relish the chance to sticky-beak inside some of the dress circle addresses and through the lavishly tended gardens on display, with the US and Japanese embassies boasting some of the city’s most enviable landscaping.

The US embassy has perhaps the most famous trees in Canberra, after Eleanor Roosevelt in 1944 began the tradition of planting a tree to mark every auspicious visitor. Five presidents – from Carter to Obama – followed her lead to help make the Canberra landmark the greenest embassy in the world, according to the State Department.

Consider Windows to the World a ticket around the globe in a weekend, minus the jetlag.

A heavy emphasis will be on food – with most embassies promising exotic morsels and a family-friendly day out with dancing, performance and art and crafts on display.

Some know the hospitality drill well, such as the Thai embassy, which already attracts throngs of loyal devotees each year to its food and cultural festival and has forged a warm relationship with a hungry and appreciative city.

For others, such as the embassy of Saudi Arabia, this will be the first time it has opened to the public.

It promises Arab coffee, dates and traditional foods, showing off its small museum of artefacts and allowing children to dress up in traditional robes in what is hopefully the start of a new cross-cultural friendship.

It’s a first, too, for the Cuban embassy, with Barata determined to bring a little of the rum, tobacco, art and music of those steamy Havana nights to Canberra.

While it may have been engaged in protracted battle with the US for the past half-century, Cuba enjoys a warm bond with Australia, which has voted against the US trade embargo since 1996 at the United Nations General Assembly.

Barata says fostering bilateral links across health, trade and education means the job in Canberra is an extremely busy one. ”Canberra is a quiet city, compared with Havana, but there is too much work to ever get bored here,” he says.

His sentiment is echoed across ambassadorial ranks, with diplomats agreeing that their initial perceptions of Canberra as a small and quiet city soon give way to an appreciation of its natural charms, and the need to keep pace in a hustling intellectual and political capital.

Some find it so lovely, they’re loath to leave. Swedish ambassador Sven-Olof Petersson asked to stay on this year – an extra year beyond his five-year posting. His sprawling residence was the third embassy built in Canberra, in 1947, after the British and American embassies.

Many distinctive features, such as the Atvidaberg windows, Kolmarden marble fireplace and copper roofing, were imported from Sweden. But by the time it came to landscaping, the Swedes had run out of money and it was left to Canberra’s revered director of parks and gardens, Lindsay Pryor, to come up with the distinctly Australian feel of the gardens throughout the enormous allotment. ”We are extremely indebted to Mr Pryor,” Petersson says.

Even now, the Swedish embassy maintains a tight budget. Staff is down from five to three, and a full-time gardener has given way to regular lawn-mowing and hedge trimming, with Petersson and his wife Anita happy to take a more active role in the more mundane aspects of gardening, such as weeding. ”You’ll find an ambassador cannot keep his head up in the clouds,” he says, matter-of-factly.

To that end, the Swedes are considering hiving off part of the land they pay $75,000 a year to lease, in order to cut down the costs of operating the embassy.

It could be worse – Petersson has a friend from another European embassy who cannot afford the heating in winter and rugs up to remain inside, and says many are running on very, very slim budgets.

Long-term Canberra resident, Argentinian ambassador and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps Pedro Villagra Delgado, says Windows to the World is a good chance to dispel the fanciful notion that life as a diplomat is all champagne and Rolls-Royces.

With the dean title and ceremonial role going to the longest-serving diplomat, Delgado has been here eight years and encourages Canberrans to visit their embassies for a taste of new culture and a more realistic insight into the hard work put in by foreign representatives.

”The thing is … we are posted to the whole of Australia – to 7.7 million square kilometres – so you keep us busy all the time and there is no time to get bored,” he says.

”The impression Canberra gives is it is quiet until you start working and then it is not quiet any more.”

Centenary of Canberra creative director Robyn Archer says the diplomatic corps contributing to the centenary celebrations should be extended as an annual event – to keep the city connected and appreciative of its unique access to the international community.

It’s a concept already supported by the ACT government, with deputy chief minister Andrew Barr saying a permanent Windows to the World program about this time of year could capitalise on the interstate tourism trade in town for Floriade.

Barr, a huge fan of the wildly successful National Multicultural Food Festival, says the opening of embassies en masse would cement Canberra’s status as a truly international city.

”We have more opportunity here in Canberra than anywhere else in Australia to engage with the world,” he says. ”We should do more to celebrate that.”

Windows to the World is a free event over the next four weekends, but places must be booked at windows totheworld 南京夜网.au.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


Big pre-grand final weekend for Melbourne auctions

Hot auction: 2 Abeckett St, Prahran East, Interest about $1.1 million. 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 car space. Adjacent to Orrong Park, the family-size floor plan has enticed about 25 groups through this elevated Edwardian. Agent: Rodney Morley Persichetti, 9826 0000. Inspect: 10.30am. Auction: 11am. Hot auction: 304/576 St Kilda Road, Melbourne $685,000-$730,000. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 car spaces. About 30 groups have looked through this third-floor apartment in the YVE building, with six taking contracts. Agent: Hocking Stuart, 9690 5366. Inspect 11am. Auction 11.30am.
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Hot auction: 152 Rupert Street, Collingwood $540,000-$600,000. 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 0 car spaces. More than 50 groups have inspected this updated Victorian with a north-facing deck. Two or three bidders are expected. Agent: Nelson Alexander, 9353 8444. Inspect: 1.30pm. Auction: 2pm.

Sellers keen to avoid the grand final next weekend are taking their properties to market this Saturday, with 865 properties set to go under the hammer in Melbourne.

Last weekend was also a bumper weekend for auctions with 841 going ahead – the post-election weekend saw Melbourne host the highest number of auctions since Easter.

The good news for sellers is that last weekend’s solid 76 per cent clearance rate is likely to be repeated this weekend.

Again the inner city leads the auction numbers, with 177 homes set to go under the hammer this weekend. This is followed by the inner bayside with 149, the inner east with 136 and the west with 130.

Melbourne’s most popular suburb for auctions on Saturday is East Bentleigh, with 25 properties listed. Brighton and Glen Iris have 17 each, South Yarra 16 and Brunswick and Richmond 15 auctions each.

South Yarra is again the most popular suburb for unit auctions, with 14 listed this weekend, followed by St Kilda with 12 and Melbourne and East Bentleigh with 11 each.

Melbourne’s weekend auction market continues to clear significant numbers of properties despite high listing numbers. With strong competition for properties continuing, more sellers can be expected to take advantage of the strongest market conditions experienced for four years.

The weekend auction market has stepped up a gear over the past month but it will be presented with another solid test this weekend.

Dr Andrew Wilson is senior economist for Australian Property Monitors.

Twitter: @DocAndrewWilson 

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


2013 Phantom Brownlow: Round 7 votes

Round 7 votes for the Age Footballer of the Year award.
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GEELONG v ESSENDON(Jake Niall) Steve Johnson (Geelong) 8 Steven Motlop (Geelong) 8 Mathew Stokes (Geelong) 8 Tom Lonergan (Geelong) 7 Heath Hocking (Essendon) 6

Projected Brownlow:3 – Steve Johnson2 – Steven Motlop1 – Mathew Stokes

PORT ADELAIDE v RICHMOND(Ashley Porter) Brett Deledio (Richmond) 8 Dustin Martin (Richmond) 8 Jack Riewoldt (Richmond) 7 Nick Vlastuin (Richmond) 7 Kane Cornes (Port Adelaide) 7

Projected Brownlow:3 – Brett Deledio2 – Dustin Martin 1 – Jack Riewoldt

BRISBANE LIONS v WEST COAST(Andrew Stafford) Matt Priddis (West Coast) 7 Matthew Leuenberger (Brisbane Lions) 7 Josh Kennedy (West Coast) 7 Pearce Hanley (Brisbane Lions) 7 Shannon Hurn (West Coast) 7

Projected Brownlow:3 – Pearce Hanley2 – Shannon Hurn1 – Matt Priddis

WESTERN BULLDOGS v NORTH MELBOURNE(Rohan Connolly) Jack Ziebell (North Melbourne) 8 Ryan Griffen (Western Bulldogs) 8 Majak Daw (North Melbourne) 7 Brent Harvey (North Melbourne) 7 Nick Lower (Western Bulldogs) 7

Projected Brownlow:3 – Jack Ziebell2 – Ryan Griffen1 – Majak Daw

HAWTHORN v SYDNEY(Greg Baum) Luke Hodge (Hawthorn) 8 Luke Breust (Hawthorn) 7Jarryd Roughead (Hawthorn) 7Josh Gibson (Hawthorn) 7 Josh Kennedy (Sydney) 7

Projected Brownlow:3 – Luke Hodge2 – Jarryd Roughead1 – Josh GibsonFREMANTLE v COLLINGWOOD(Brad Elborough) Michael Walters (Fremantle) 7 Michael Barlow (Fremantle) 6 Dane Swan (Collingwood) 6 Ryan Crowley (Fremantle) 6 Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood) 5

Projected Brownlow:3 – Michael Walters2 – Michael Barlow1 – Dane Swan

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY v ADELAIDE(Andrew Wu) Tom Lynch (Adelaide) 9 Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide) 8 Scott Thompson (Adelaide) 8 Brent Reilly (Adelaide) 7 Matthew Wright (Adelaide) 7

Projected Brownlow:3 – Tom Lynch 2 – Patrick Dangerfield1 – Scott Thompson

MELBOURNE v GOLD COAST(Emma Quayle) Gary Ablett (Gold Coast) 8 Harley Bennell (Gold Coast) 8 Matt Shaw (Gold Coast) 7 Jared Brennan (Gold Coast) 7 Zac Smith (Gold Coast) 7

Projected Brownlow:3 – Gary Ablett2 – Dion Prestia 1 – Harley Bennell

ST KILDA v CARLTON(Michael Gleeson) Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda) 8 Lachie Henderson (Carlton) 8 Ben McEvoy (St Kilda) 8 Jack Steven (St Kilda) 7 Brock McLean (Carlton) 6

Projected Brownlow:3 – Jack Steven2 – Nick Riewoldt1 – Lachie Henderson

THE TOTALS Mathew Stokes (Geelong) 37 Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn) 37 Travis Boak (Port Adelaide) 37 Jobe Watson (Essendon) 34 Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide) 32 Gary Ablett (Gold Coast) 31 Travis Cloke (Collingwood) 31 Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood) 30 Luke Hodge (Hawthorn) 30 Kane Cornes (Port Adelaide) 29 Josh Kennedy (Sydney) 29 Michael Barlow (Fremantle) 28 Matt Priddis (West Coast) 28 Daniel Hannebery (Sydney) 28 Jarrad McVeigh (Sydney) 24 Steve Johnson (Geelong) 24 Harry Taylor (Geelong) 24 David Zaharakis (Essendon) 23 Hamish Hartlett (Port Adelaide) 23 Grant Birchall (Hawthorn) 23 Brett Deledio (Richmond) 22 Dustin Martin (Richmond) 22 Marc Murphy (Carlton) 22 Michael Barlow (Fremantle) 22 Chris Yarran (Carlton) 22 Justin Westhoff (Port Adelaide) 22 Kieren Jack (Sydney) 22

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