Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Hopes that stranded whale in Oban will return safely to sea after six-hour rescue effort

Marine experts are hopeful that a whale which became stranded on the West Coast will be able to make it safely back to sea following a six-hour rescue effort.

Fears were raised that a 40ft humpback whale could die after appearing to become trapped in shallow water at Dunstaffnage Bay in Oban at about 8am yesterday.

The whale was discovered lodged between a pontoon and a Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) laboratory.

Members of the British Divers Marline Life Rescue (BDMLR), scientists from the lab, coastguard volunteers, police officers and fire crews turned out in force to help free the animal.

Several cordons were put in place to protect the stuck humpback, with all boat movements in the area minimised during the operation.

A tweet from SAMS described the “upsetting morning” as fears for the creature’s welfare grew.

>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter

Julia Cable, from BDMLR, said the whale was not entangled, and suggested that it was perhaps “exhausted” after being caught in the low tide.

SAMS members monitored the whale’s condition for several hours using drone footage, as experts debated the best course of action on the shore.

Following a six-hour effort, the whale moved from its position into more open water.

The whale first became trapped at Dunstaffnage Bay. after floating into shallow waters.

The team of experts later pledged to keep a 24-hour watch to ensure that the mammal is able to make it away from the shore.

Ms Cable added: “It wasn’t caught up in anything or entangled at any point.

“The whale was just in the shallow water.

“We will just see what happens over the next 24 hours or so but for now everything that can be done has been done.

“It’s not had to be moved or anything like that so we will just keep our fingers crossed that nothing else happens.”

The BDMLR has explained the protocol for dealing with beached whales.

The organisation’s website states: “These animals do not beach themselves under normal circumstances, and they will require assistance.

“Please do not return them to the sea as they may need a period of recovery before they are fit enough to swim strongly.

“Releasing the animal before it has received an assessment and first aid from experienced personnel can do more harm than good.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in