Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rescue operation under way after three whales are beached in sea loch

By Daily Mail Reporter

Rescue divers administer first aid to two of the stranded pilot whales in the Kyle of Durness today


Three pilot whales became stranded on the shore of a remote Highland sea loch today.

Rescuers at the scene said the whales were part of a pod of around 60 which got trapped in the Kyle of Durness, one of Britain's most northerly points.


The British Divers Marine Life Rescue charity said the three mammals were being given first aid on the beach.

Between 15 and 20 pilot whales which were thought to be in danger of stranding have been herded back to a deeper channel of water where they rejoined the larger group.


Two members of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue charity herd up to 20 whales out to deeper water


The larger group may still become stranded once the estuary tide goes out. The Navy and Coastguard are also helping with the rescue, which is expected to continue through the night into tomorrow.

The Scottish Agricultural College said another 20 of the whales could be heading for shallow water.

SAC vet Dr Andrew Brownlow is making his way to the Kyle of Durness. He will conduct post-mortem examinations on any dead whales.


The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the whales were believed to be from a pod of as many as 60


In May, around 60 pilot whales appeared in Loch Carnan, South Uist, although they left the loch after one of them died.

The dead whale was later found on an island in the loch. A post-mortem examination suggested it had died from an infection.

Rescuers later said a second whale was found dead in the same loch. It is thought to have died elsewhere and floated in on the tide.


As rescuers fought to keep the animals stable, a Navy bomb disposal unit offered its help in the rescue effort


At the end of last October, other pilot whales almost got stranded in Loch Carnan. Less than a week later 33 whales, believed to be the same group, were found dead on a beach in Co Donegal in Ireland.

Pilot whales are known to prefer deep water but come inshore to feed on squid, their main food.


source: dailymail


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