A multi-agency rescue operation is underway to save a whale found stranded on a beach in Fife.
The alarm was raised at around 9am after a young minke whale, thought to be less than a year old, was found languishing at the waters edge on a beach in Dalgety Bay on Saturday morning.
The coastguard and as well representatives from Scottish SPCA and a team of experts from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, BDMLR, were called to coastal spot at The Bridges in Dalgety Bay.
The beach was cordoned off to the public as volunteers as desperate attempts continue to save the animal.
However, as the rescue operation continues, it’s feared the whale’s chances of survival are finely balanced with the whale’s survival far from certain.
Paul Smith, BDMLR area co-ordinator, said: “It’s a female juvenile minke whale which on assessment is showing to be quite weak after being stranded further round the coast.
“We are now holding the whale in shallow water in the hope of it being able to build up its strength.
“We will continue to monitor the condition of the animal in the hope we can re-float but at the moment its looking like it could sadly go either way.”
Another of the rescuers at the scene said there was considerable concern as the whale would be still fully dependent on its mother to survive.
“It’s a concern as the whale is very young indeed, certainly we estimate to be less than a year old which it would be still fully dependent on its mother for milk and security.
“Spotters are keeping a lookout for the parent whale that we hope is still in the area.
“If it is then we have a good chance, if not then there is a real worry that the baby will not survive.”
Scores of people looked on from higher ground after the beach was made pout of bounds to the the public as the attempts to save the stranded whale continued.
Onlooker, Muriel Buick, said: “We arrived here at 10.30am and at that time you could still get onto the beach and the whale was half in the water and half on the sand.
“Rescuers were measuring ans assessing it and a number of volunteers were helping to slowly coax the animal back into deeper water.
“Volunteers remained either side of it trying to get it to swim back out into the Forth but it continued to remain in water that was only waist height.
“We just hope that all the effort by everyone can get the whale back out to safety.”