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South African authorities struggle to rescue pilot whales stranded on beach in Cape Town

South African officials say 19 pilot whales have beached in Cape Town and five of them have died.

Police and other rescue workers are hosing down the surviving whales at Noordhoek Beach to try to keep them alive.

The South African Press Association quoted Craig Lambinon, a spokesman for the National Sea Rescue Institute, as saying authorities are considering whether to try and refloat the whales. They washed up on the beach on Sunday morning.

Lambinon has appealed to the public to stay away from the beach because enough workers are there, trying to help the whales.

In 2009, authorities in the Cape Town area removed the carcasses of 55 whales that beached themselves and had to be shot despite the frantic rescue efforts of hundreds of volunteers.