British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue


2018-12-07 12:29:20

Pilot whale mass stranding update

Sadly, the fourth whale that was being monitored by our team became stranded on the shore at Torryburn during Thursday afternoon.  It was also in a poor state of health by this stage and again a decision had to be made by the veterinarians to put it to sleep and end any further suffering.

The Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme are today carrying out post mortem examinations on all four deceased animals to further investigate this incident in the hope that it may reveal why they may have gotten into difficulty.  A fifth whale that was sighted only on Tuesday remains missing and may still be in the area.  We would ask anyone that spots it to please report it urgently to our emergency hotline on 01825 765546.

This has been one of the most protracted, logistically challenging and emotionally draining incidents that BDMLR’s Medics have had to deal with in recent years.  Many of our team have been out on all of the days for many hours in freezing cold, windy, wet and muddy conditions trying to help the whales in incredibly difficult circumstances where the odds have constantly been against us.  It really is a struggle to find the words that convey how truly difficult and heart-breaking this incident was for us all to deal with both physically and emotionally.

We would especially like to thank each and every member of our team that were involved both on the ground and on the phones for their dedication, determination and compassion over the last few days.  Every single one of them is a credit to BDMLR and represented us with great professionalism in the face of the many challenges that were thrown our way.  Again, it is difficult to find the right way for us to express how grateful we are to have such amazing and brilliant people in our organisation who are so willing to give so much to what we do as a charity.

We would of course like to thank our colleagues at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Blue Watch at Dunfermline, Kinghorn Coastguard, Special Operations Response Team, Network Rail and SMASS for their involvement and support during the incident too.  Without them this would have been a far more horrendous situation for us to deal with alone.

Photos courtesy Alan Cameron (BDMLR)