21 pilot whales stranded off Isle of Skye

British Divers Marine Life Rescue tend to stranded pilot whales on the rocks of Staffin Island on the Isle of Skye. Picture: PA

British Divers Marine Life Rescue tend to stranded pilot whales on the rocks of Staffin Island on the Isle of Skye. Picture: PA

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RESCUERS are waiting for high tide to try to refloat whales stranded off the Isle of Skye.

A pod of 21 pilot whales became beached at Staffin earlier today.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue tend to stranded pilot whales on the rocks of Staffin Island on the Isle of Skye. Picture: PA

British Divers Marine Life Rescue tend to stranded pilot whales on the rocks of Staffin Island on the Isle of Skye. Picture: PA

The mammals were floated back out to sea but several stranded again on the shores of nearby Staffin Island.

It is understood nine whales have died or had to be euthanised by vets at the scene, including a female who lost her calf.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) said attempts would be made to get the remaining seven back out to sea at high tide at around 6.30pm.

A spokesman said: “Each of the remaining seven animals are being assessed in the hope that some may be fit enough to be refloated to join the whales that are currently free swimming and the team continues to give them first aid.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue tend to stranded pilot whales on the rocks of Staffin Island on the Isle of Skye. Picture: PA

British Divers Marine Life Rescue tend to stranded pilot whales on the rocks of Staffin Island on the Isle of Skye. Picture: PA

The BDMLR was alerted to the stranded pod at Brogaig Bay on Skye at about 4am.

They said 18 were refloated before 10 became stranded again on Staffin Island.

Scotland’s Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said earlier: “I am very concerned to hear about this stranding of pilot whales on Skye. Marine Scotland and BDMLR are currently working hard to alleviate the situation.

“We have a patrol vessel and other staff on site and I am being kept informed of the situation.”

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