Sei whale dies after becoming beached

A sei whale has died after becoming beached at South Queensferry despite several hours of attempts to save the animal.

Animal welfare officers rushed to assist the sea creature after it became stranded on the beach near the Forth Bridges at around 10.30am on Saturday morning.

Operatives from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) group as well as those from Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS) responded as part of the effort to return it to the water.

However the whale, which measured around 25ft long, was unable to be placed back in the Firth of Forth and died a short time later.

SMASS said a necropsy would be carried out to determine how the animal became beached.

A BDMLR spokesperson said: “We mobilized teams from both sides of the Forth, including two sets of rescue equipment in the hope that the whale would be able to be returned to the water.

“Unfortunately at 12.50pm just after the vet had assessed the animal, it passed away.

“The whale has been identified as a sei whale, a species which prefers deep offshore waters but is occasionally seen feeding closer to shore in Scottish waters.”