Rescuers battle to save whale

Coastguards were last night trying to guide a whale back into the North Sea after it became stranded in the Humber estuary.

The 45ft Minke whale was found beached yesterday on mudbanks at South Ferriby, near Hull. The incoming tide floated the whale shortly after 4pm and a small flotilla of boats was attempting to guide it into the main channel and back out to sea.

"We are trying to coax it out to sea. It's some 24 to 25 miles inland at the moment and we just hope it can be guided into the deep main channel," said a Coastguard spokesman.