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Pilot whale rescue efforts continue in Vidlin voe

The pilot whale was close to the beach on Tuesday night from where two sea kayakers tried to herd it into deeper waters. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

EFFORTS to gently herd a young male pilot whale into open waters will continue on Wednesday after a number of boat owners volunteered their service.

The mammal became trapped in Vidlin voe, in Shetland, over the last two days and has been unable to find its way out.

On Tuesday night two sea kayakers were able to encourage the animal away from a shallow beach, but it has now become disorientated in the nearby marina where it had reportedly beached for a short time on the slipway.

The rescue efforts are being coordinated by the Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) office in Lerwick, as well as Pete and Jan Bevington of Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary who are at the scene, but without a mobile phone signal.

Karen Hall of SNH said on Wednesday morning that they had a number of boats willing to help but more “smaller boats” were needed.

She said that pilot whales were “fickle” in their behaviour and great care was needed to encourage the animal back to sea.

“As long as it is in the water there is a chance,” she said.

Anyone willing to help is asked to get in touch with her at the SNH on 01595 693345. Any rescue attempt should be coordinated with SNH and Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary. 

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