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VIDEO: Anstruther RNLI in multi-agency operation to save stranded whale

Lifeboats News Release

Anstruther RNLI volunteers where paged to assist in the freeing of a 21ft non-dependant juvenile Minke whale off the coast of Elie on Friday evening.

Both of the station’s lifeboats launched to join in the efforts with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), local coastguard, Police Scotland and the SSPCA in a successful rescue to re-float the mammal.

After a successful first re-float of the whale, the Anstruther RNLI D class lifeboat joined the teams initially to steer the whale away from returning to the coastline, but a second grounding unfortunately occurred.

The BDMLR team deployed a re-floatation pontoon which allowed the Minke whale enough water to float once again and, with gentle encouragement, the whale was freed.

Anstruther RNLI crew member Kevin Calder said: ‘We were tasked to respond by the UK Coastguard around 8.30pm on Friday night (21 April) and travelled the short distance to Elie to assist. We arrived on scene and began in the initial task to deter the whale from returning to the coastline but the depth of the water meant the whale was able to swim underneath our lifeboat.

‘We were delighted to assist in the successful second re-floating and would like to commend the efforts of the other services involved in this incident.’

A coastline search was conducted at first light in the area with no sign of the whale.

RNLI media contact

The attached video shows the Anstruther RNLI lifeboat crew

For more information please contact RNLI Anstruther volunteer lifeboat press officer, Martin Macnamara, on 07969 773075,

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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