Fears for humpback in Forth entangled in buoy

The humpback is trailing a bouy in the Forth. Picture: Ronnie Mackie/FMMP
The humpback is trailing a bouy in the Forth. Picture: Ronnie Mackie/FMMP

One of the humpback whales in the Forth may be in distress, after it was revealed that it has become entangled in a buoy.

The whale is thought to be one of two presently swimming off the Fife coast, and rescue divers are today deploying on the Forth to help the giant mammal.

Anyone who spots the humpback, is urged to call the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), who are today ready to undertake the dangerous work to cut it free.

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A spokesman for the BDMLR said that they had received reports earlier this week from fishermen and watchers that the whale appeared to be dragging a buoy.

“There is an entangled whale somewhere in the Forth, we’re not sure where as it’s moving.

“It’s dragging a buoy on a rope. We’ve got our large whale disentanglement team on scene, which is a specialist team within the BMLDR.

“We’re going to try to locate the animal, carry out and assessment, and if possible try and free it from its entanglement.

“Bearing in mind that this is super-dangerous - people have died doing this work.

“It’s really dangerous for us as rescuers, because we don’t know how the animals’ going to behave, we could end up flipped out of the boat, we could be hit by its tail, there’s so many ifs and buts with this.

“If anybody does see it, phone BDMLR with a position, try figure out where you are and where the animal is in relation to landmarks or buoys, and whether it’s heading east or west.

“There’s a lot of whales out there so we don’t need reports of them all because that’ll just swamp the rescue line.

“You’ll know it because it’s entangled and there’s a rope trailing behind it with a moving yellow or orange football-sized buoy with a flag on it.

“It’s obviously from a creel line from someplace.

“If anyone is out in a boat and spots it, don’t approach it, just log it and report it.

“We’d like to say a big thank you to all the fishermen who have helped spot this and report it, the fishing community have been absolutely amazing.”

Anyone who sees the humpback is urged to call 01825 765546.

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