THE SHETLAND community – and some visitors – rallied together this morning (Wednesday) to rescue a minke whale which had become stranded on the Levenwick beach.
The young whale, which was around three metres long, eventually swam out to sea after being refloated.
NatureScot marine mammal advisor Karen Hall was one of those involved in the rescue operation, and she said it was an “absolutely phenomenal effort”.
She said the call first came in at around 7am, with the whale presumed dead.
But Hall said she was surprised to find the whale was still alive.
“Lots of phoning later and we had a concerted group of Levenwick and nearby folk ready and willing to help plus a couple of visitors who happened to be holidaying in the village,” she said.
“The initial assessment looked good – it was a young minke in good body condition with no obvious injuries.”
A tarpaulin was used to lift and drag the whale towards the water. Hall said efforts were made to keep the whale steady, as stranded whales need time to “regain their equilibrium”.
The whale swam off, but only to a kelpy outcrop, with the rescuers back in the water again to move it off.
“Gradually it got stronger and began to turn itself when it approached the shallows, and then it was off,” Hall said.
The wildlife expert thanked all of those involved in the rescue effort.
Not all heroes wear capes.
Some wear wetsuits, jeans & sweatshirts.
Norway take note. pic.twitter.com/ODj4GZB967
— Hugh Harrop Wildlife (@HughHarrop) August 17, 2022
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers – national and local – struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 560 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: –
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.