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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, martinmacnamara@btinternet.com

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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