07/23/2015 02:39 EDT | Updated 07/24/2015 02:59 EDT

Stranded Orca Saved After Hours Of Help From Some Friends

"She cried often, which tore at our hearts."

A group of volunteers and researchers rushed to help a killer whale that found itself beached on some rocks on B.C.'s remote North Coast.

The stranded orca was discovered at low tide near Hartley Bay, a First Nations community south of Prince Rupert, on Wednesday afternoon.

A group called the Cetacean Lab, along with members from the World Wildlife Fund and the Guardians of Hartley Bay, arrived and approached the whale "as quietly as possible."

"Today was one of very high emotions," said a Facebook post from the lab.

"Fortunately on some level this transient orca understood that we were trying to help. She cried often, which tore at our hearts."

Hermann Meuter, a co-founder of Cetacean Lab, told CBC News: "We decided the best thing to do would be to keep her cool, that meant to put water on her body and we used blankets and sheets."

One member put together a "MacGyver-like water pump" and others draped wet sheets over the orca.

After more than six hours, the tide came up and the whale was able to free itself — as its rescuers cheered.

"A giant thank you once again to this amazing community that comes together so quickly to protect what is sacred," the group wrote on Facebook.

In 2011, the Cetacean Lab helped save a juvenile humpback whale that got tangled in a gill net.

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