Marine medics give update on stranded whale that beached for second time

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CREDIT: Wirral Coastguard/Gem Simmons

A fin whale was stranded yesterday just off the coast of Thurstation but after what looked like a positive rescue sadly the animal has got stranded again.

The fin whale was sighted again swimming in the Dee Estuary last night just before it got dark and has been found restranded this morning in the same area.

Medics from the BDMLR along with Flint and Rhyl Coastguard Rescue Teams provided first aid to the whale throughout the day today.

The whale is stranded a long way from the shore and the main channel of the estuary with the tide out most of the time.

A water pump was employed to help relay water from the channel closer to the whale so Medics could gather buckets of water to help keep its skin wet so it didn’t dry out and cause further discomfort, while thin sheets have been put over its back to help make it comfortable.

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CREDIT: Wirral Coastguard/Gem Simmons

Experts on scene said that it appeared to be less responsive than yesterday and that there is a high chance the whale could pass away.

Wirral Coastguard said on their facebook page: “The breathing rate was quite high for some time but gradually calmed down to a more normal rate, though it seemed less responsive in itself than it did yesterday.

“The tide has now come in once again so our team have withdrawn to safety. The whale is still alive and it will be monitored from the boat and the shore.It is critical to understand how difficult this situation is.

“A whale of this size would weigh approximately 14 tonnes and it cannot simply be dragged by heavy machinery or lifted by a crane or helicopter.

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“These methods could easily cause severe injury as well as induce severe stress, panic and shock that could lead to its death.

“Although we want to be optimistic, we have to be absolutely realistic about the animal’s chances of survival at this point.

“It has spent several hours out of the water gradually being crushed under its own weight over the last couple of days and the degree of internal damage this may have caused could be very significant by now.

“Even if it does swim off again this evening there is a high chance that it will restrand and/or pass away as a result.

“It’s been a very long and tough day for our team so we would like to thank them for their efforts as well as the local Coastguard team and local residents, as well as North Wales Police who have had to control crowds and prevent people from coming into the dangerous estuary to get closer to the whale.

“Everyone has worked together as an amazing team throughout and once again all we can do is watch and wait.”