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Rescue efforts on-going to free entangled whale

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A rescue operation to free a stranded whale in the Highlands will enter a third day.

The sperm whale, believed to be around 30ft long, was discovered in distress at the far end of Loch Eriboll at Foulin Cottage shortly after midday on Wednesday after becoming entangled in a rope.

Passers-by first alerted Shetland Coastguard to the incident just before 12.30pm leading to a major response from coastguard teams across the region.

Members of the Durness Coastguard rescue team remained at the scene yesterday as the Scottish SPCA and British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) monitored the  situation.

Edit – coastguard are here!Think the poor whale chose death 😔 if anyone knows anyone that deals which this sort of thing. It’s currently still alive, but pretty sure it sick

Posted by Hazel Mackay on Wednesday, 2 January 2019

The BDMLR sent a specialist entanglement team of three from the Moray Firth and Ullapool to the scene yesterday to further monitor developments on the ground.

As the light began to fade in the north, a spokeswoman from BDMLR said the team were now “ready and waiting” in the area to see what new information daylight brings.

She added: “We are working closely with the Scottish SPCA and HM Coastguard to monitor and assess the sperm whale in Loch Eriboll. We have specialist disentanglement equipment ready to use should it be confirmed that the whale is in some way caught in lines preventing it leaving the loch.”

A spokeswoman from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency appealed to the public to keep clear of the scene. She said: “It is quite a distressing situation. We are supporting the BDMLR and what we are asking the public to do is to keep at a safe distance to not put themselves at danger.

“We don’t want to distress the whale any more than it already is by getting too close.”

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