Farewell Spit, New Zealand—It was an uplifting coda to an otherwise tragic week. In two separate incidents, hundreds of whales died after beaching themselves in the shallow waters of Golden Bay at the tip of New Zealand’s South Island. Volunteers left on the night of February 11, worried that the hundreds of stranded, surviving whales would meet a similar fate. When they returned the next day, however, most had made it out to sea. “They self-rescued,” Herb Christophers, a spokesman for New Zealand's Department of Conservation, told Reuters. “The tide came in and they were able to float off and swim out to sea.” Volunteers later helped the remaining animals rejoin their pod.