Devastated rescuers have said they have been unable save a 55-foot whale that became stranded on a UK beach earlier today.
Footage showed the whale stranded by on the beach in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, with emergency services on the scene.
The whale was in very shallow water and struggling to move. The animal, reported to be a fin whale, has now sadly died.
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Fin whales are the second largest cetacean behind the blue whale, and not normally seen in the North Sea. The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) said the animal was simply too large to be helped back into the water.
A statement from the BDMLR said "A fin whale came ashore this afternoon stranding itself on a sandbar just off Bridlington south beach. The fin whale is the second largest cetacean after the blue whale, and sadly we are not able to return them to the water due to their size.
"The fin whale is not common in the North Sea therefore for it to be found in Yorkshire would indicate there is something very wrong with the animal, and it's most likely suffering from malnutrition or disease."
The 55ft long sea creature was confirmed dead at around 6pm, the BDMLR told the BBC.
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BDMLR expert Emily Mayman earlier said: “We have begun clearing an area of the beach as quite a few people have come down as there is understandable interest.
“The whale could yet make landfall so we are preparing rescue equipment. The tide is starting to go out so if it is stuck on a sandbank then it could be stranded.
“We don’t have a definite identification on the animal yet but we believe it is either a fin or minke whale. If it is stranded then we will start rescue action.
“While it is still in the sea we cannot launch boats as we risk injuring or distressing it. It is also too dangerous to send in divers as this is a large animal rolling around on a sandbank.”
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In a statement, HM Coastguard said: "We can confirm that HM Coastguard officers are in attendance at the scene of a stranded whale off Belvedere near Bridlington beach. We were called today at 1.15pm and are there to provide assistance."
The sad news comes as Ms Mayman previously told The Mirror that more whales may be headed for fatal strandings on UK beaches.
Following that stranding, Ms Mayman, said: “Hopefully we don't end up with more turning up because males can often break into bachelor groups and they will often go away on their own as a small group.
“Then as those males mature they'll disappear off on their own, and it's possible it could be one of these males that's gone off on its own or it could be a part of a larger group.”
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