The former RC Toulon player took part in the rescue of a cetacean that had run aground on a beach in northern New Zealand.
Ali Williams has deserted the rugby lawns since 2017 and his retirement but the strength of the former All Black, 2011 world champion was not too much to save a whale stranded on a beach north of Auckland, Mangawhai Heads.
Local press reports that the now 39-year-old colossus spotted a cetacean motionless on the beach as it flew over the area in a helicopter with an acquaintance. The two men turned around and, after making sure the beach was empty, the crew landed the aircraft in place to initiate a rescue operation.
Ali Williams won the 2011 World Cup with the Kiwis.
The two men quickly tried to help the inert whale by pulling it, but it was far too heavy for four arms. With a blow of its tail, the powerful animal even pushed back the old second line that had fallen into the water. A team of surfers then came to lend a hand to Ali Williams and his friend to try to move the cetacean. After an hour of effort, they managed to get the marine mammal back to sea as shown in the video.
An association reminds you that you should never touch the fragile tail of a cetacean
Williams was warmly congratulated on social media for this rescue, which however was not carried out properly. A New Zealand whale and dolphin rescue organization said the method used was wrong.
In a message posted on Facebook, the Project Jonah association explained that it “understood the desire to want to help the whale” but that a big mistake had been made by pulling the animal by the tail. In addition to being dangerous for humans, shooting in this place that must be “at all costs to avoid handling” can “cause significant damage” to the cetacean.