Beached whale dies after becoming stranded on Cornwall beach

A BEACHED whale has died despite desperate efforts to refloat it in Cornwall.

• The 65ft female fin whale was discovered to be ‘very sick and distressed’

• The whale had become stranded on an outgoing tide, and had suffered a number of injuries

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Rescuers were called to Carlyon Bay near St Austell by walkers after they spotted the 65ft female fin whale stranded on the beach.

But vets from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) said there was no hope of refloating the injured animal, which was “incredibly undernourished”.

The BDMLR said the difficult decision had been made to put down the animal for humane reasons, but the whale died naturally and this was not necessary.

Faye Archell, of the BDMLR, said before the whale died: “It is incredibly under-nourished and has a very high breathing rate, which suggests it is very sick and distressed.

“It would be wrong for us to put a sick animal back into the sea. We are frustrated about it but we cannot help it.”

The whale, which was stranded on an outgoing tide, had injuries to its head, gashes to its body and was injured around one eye.

Around 300 people gathered at the scene as a team of people tried to get the whale back into the sea.

The coastguard and police cordoned off the beach to prevent further distress to the whale.

The fin whale is the second largest animal ever to have lived and can grow to 75-85 feet (22-26 metres), weigh up to 74 tonnes and live for up to 90 years.