Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Divers may attempt perilous rescue of entangled humpback whale in Forth

British Divers Marine Life Rescue were on standby to launch from Kinghorn harbour
British Divers Marine Life Rescue were on standby to launch from Kinghorn harbour

Rescuers may risk their lives to save a humpback whale in the Forth entangled by buoy rope.

Volunteers for British Divers Marine Life Rescue aided from above by pilots hope to trace the giant mammal and cut it free.

However, if they get close enough there is a risk of the distressed whale overturning their vessel or breaching on to it.

Whale watchers joy at the mammals’ arrival in Fife waters earlier this week turned to despair when they learned the larger of the two was pulling a buoy behind it.

The whale is thought to be have been tangled in the rope for some time. Picture by Ronnie Mackie

It is believed the mammal has been trapped in the rope for some time.

Entanglement is common among humpback whales and can be fatal, preventing their ability to feed.

Divers were on standby at Kinghorn Harbour on Friday awaiting news of the whale’s location.

Pilots from the UK Civil Aviation Patrol Scotland launched, while the Coastguard appealed to mariners to keep an eye out. People also watched from land.

Members of the public watched from the shore for the entangled humpback whale

Two whales were seen off the coast of Kinghorn on Tuesday and Wednesday but the last sighting was at Gullane and it is feared the entangled mammal may have returned to sea.

BDMLR area coordinator Paul Smith said: “On February 26 we received a report of a possibly entangled humpback from a fisherman and I also spotted it.

“On Thursday we launched our rescue rib and our large whale disentanglement team, which is a specialist team of the BDLMR.”

Due to conditions, the UK Civil Air Patrol Scotland delayed their launch until Friday.

Paul said: “Two aircraft went up, one on the north shore and one on the south shore but they saw nothing.

“The weather is against us over the weekend.

“We are just waiting for it [the whale] to be spotted and we are ready to scramble.

“We need the whale in this area. It’s travelling miles and miles a day going out to sea and coming back. It could disappear out to sea and not come back.”

The BDMLR will remain on standby over the weekend but Paul said the mission could drag on several weeks.

If the whale’s location is established the crew will conduct an assessment before the rope is cut.

Paul said: “Human safety comes first and we will deal with it as well we can.

“It is very dangerous – this is the most dangerous rescue we do.”

UK Civil Aviation Patrol Scotland confirmed it had been tasked to perform a search and support rescue operation.

A spokesperson said: “The advantage of an aeroplane to support a search such as this is obvious. Our elevated position makes it much easier to keep track of the animal – which might only come up for a breath every 15 minutes – and relay its position to divers in the water.”

An appeal was issued for any sightings of the entangled whale to be reported to BDMLR by calling 01825 765546.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]