Whale beached for 3 days on Mexico's northwest coast is back in the Pacific Ocean

A grey whale has been returned safely to the Pacific Ocean after three days beached on the coast of Mexico's Baja California Sur state.

Workers spent three days using pumps to keep the whale hydrated

In this photo released by Mexico's Federal Environmental Protection Agency (PROFEPA) and taken last week, people spray water on a gray whale during efforts to return it to sea in Baja California Sur state, Mexico. (PROFEPA via Associated Press)

A grey whale has been returned safely to the Pacific Ocean after three days beached on the coast of Mexico's Baja California Sur state.

The federal environmental protection agency says in a statement that the whale swam into a shallow canal near Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos last Thursday and was then stranded by the ebbing tide.

Workers spent three days using pumps to keep the whale hydrated. Photos released by the agency showed them hosing it down and digging the sand in an apparent bid to allow water to pool around it.

Monday's statement said the tide came in high enough Saturday for the whale to be manoeuvred to open water. It swam away under its own power and "in good health."

Grey whales are a protected species in Mexico.