CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A group of North Carolina high school students on spring break in South Africa were among the rescuers who tried to save 19 beached pilot whales.
Fifteen students from Providence Day School in Charlotte were in South Africa on a goodwill mission when they spotted activity on a beach.
(Click here for photos of the students in action)
When they approached, they saw the 19 whales. School spokeswoman Karen Brand said Monday the students decided to help rescue workers.
For three hours, the high school juniors and seniors worked alongside the rescue workers to keep the whales wet and upright. They carried buckets of water and carefully covered the whales' blowholes so the stressed mammals would not suffer.
At least six of the 19 whales have died. Authorities say they planned to euthanize some of the surviving whales.