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


2013-04-25 13:46:26

Pilot Whales Rescued in Scotland

At around 8.30 on the morning of Wednesday 24th April, BDMLR received a call about three pilot whales stranded at Portmahomack, Easter Ross on the peninsular in the dornoch outer firth.


One of the whales had already died, but two were still alive and from their position it is estimated that they may have stranded on the falling tide around 10-10.30pm the previous evening.

The SSPCA, Coatsguard and members of the public successfully refloated one whale mid-morning and then BDMLR medics and local vets from Johnston and Farell in Tain arrived to work on the second surviving animal.  This was returned to the sea around mid-day.

The military, running project Joint Warrior in the area, were contacted by BDMLR head office and they immediately offered to reduce the size of the exercise in the immediate area by cancelling the use of target ordnance and low passes by the RAF.

Later that evening at around 6.30pm, a whale was reported to have stranded on the other side of the firth on a sandbank off Dornoch. BDMLR were again called to assist and the combined team from BDMLR, SSPCA, the vet from Johnstone and Farell and members of the Dornoch Inshore Lifeboat again worked hard to re-stabilise the 4.5 metre male.

This is now thought to have been one of the animals that had stranded earlier. The whale was successfully refloated at around 10.15pm, in dreadful conditions on a flooding tide.

The whale that had died prior to the rescue was taken away for post mortem at the SRUC and was a male sub-adult in relatively good health prior to stranding, showing no obviouis signs of disease or trauma.

These were difficult rescues in very demanding conditions, with high swells and icy water. Many thanks again to the combined team who had a very long day but have done an incredible job!

Stephen Marsh
BDMLR Operations Manager

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