Beached whale dies on Cornish beach despite desperate efforts by rescuers

 

A beached whale has died despite desperate efforts to refloat it.

Rescuers were called to Carlyon Bay near St Austell in Cornwall by walkers at around 5pm yesterday after they spotted the 65ft female fin whale stranded on the beach.

But vets from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) said there was no hope of refloating the injured animal, which was "incredibly undernourished".

The BDMLR said the difficult decision had been made to put down the animal for humane reasons, but the whale died naturally and this was not necessary.

Faye Archell, of the BDMLR, said before the whale died: "It is incredibly under-nourished and has a very high breathing rate, which suggests it is very sick and distressed.

"It would be wrong for us to put a sick animal back into the sea. We are frustrated about it but we cannot help it."

The whale, which was stranded on an outgoing tide, had injuries to its head, gashes to its body and was injured around one eye.

A BDMLR spokesman added: "In the end, the whale died without being put to sleep but it was not possible for the body to be secured to anything on the beach, so it may move with the tide.

"It is hoped that it can be recovered for post-mortem and the public have been reminded that it is an offence to take any part of a whale without the appropriate licence."

Around 300 people gathered at the scene as a team of people tried to get the whale back into the sea.

The coastguard and police cordoned off the beach to prevent further distress to the whale.

Inspector Dave Meredith, of Devon and Cornwall Police, tweeted last night: "The stranded whale has now passed away. Due to its injuries and poor condition there was no hope of rescue. A very sad incident for us all."

The coastguard said earlier: "A member of the public contacted Brixham Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre at just before a quarter to five this afternoon to report that a 65ft-long whale had beached itself on Carlyon Beach, Cornwall.

"The whale, which is believed to be a fin whale, was reported to be alive and thrashing about in the shallow water.

"Brixham Coastguard alerted British Divers Marine Life Rescue. Two vets from this volunteer group are now on scene.

"St Austell Coastguard rescue team and Devon and Cornwall Police are also on scene to assist the marine rescue team and make sure the public do not cause the whale further distress."

The fin whale is the second largest animal ever to have lived and can grow to 75-85 feet (22-26 metres), weigh up to 74 tonnes and live for up to 90 years.

An endangered species, it feeds on krill, small schooling fish and squid and is often found in social groups of two to seven animals.

PA

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
News
Jennifer Lawrence at the Vanity Fair Academy Awards party in February 2014
people12 undisclosed female victims are seeking $100m in damages
Arts and Entertainment
Adam Levine plays a butcher who obsessively stalks a woman in Maroon 5's 'Animals' music video
music'Animals' video 'promotes sexual violence against women'
News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
voicesI like surprises - that's why I'm bringing them back to politics, writes Nigel Farage
News
Bear and hare woodland scene from John Lewis Christmas advert
newsRetailer breaks with tradition, selling real festive fir trees online for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Horowitz will write the next 007 novel
booksAnthony Horowitz to write new instalment in spy series for 2015
News
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
people
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

Sport
Kicking on: Nathaniel Clyne is relishing the challenge of the Premier League after moving from Crystal Palace
footballSurprises include a first ever call-up for one Southampton star
Voices
4 May 2013: The sun rises over Tower Bridge in London. Temperatures across the UK could be higher than several European holiday destinations by Monday, including parts of Italy and France (Andy Hepburn/PA)
voices
News
The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
Extras
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

General Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: We have opportunities for Cov...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Maths Teacher required to tea...

Digital Fundraising Analyst/Web Analyst - West Sussex - Permanent - £30k DOE

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Application Support Engineer – 6 month FTC – West Sussex - £26k-£28k pro rata

£26000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?