Washed-up on a Sussex beach - whale dies despite rescue efforts

The Northern Bottlenose whale washed up on a beach at Rustington in Sussex Credit: ITV News

A large whale has died after being washed up on a beach in Sussex.

Rescuers tried desperately to save the northern bottlenose whale which became grounded at Rustington on Saturday afternoon.

The Coastguard Rescue Team attended with conservation experts, but were unable to get the mammal back in the water.

The Coastguard tried to keep the animal moist with protective covers Credit: ITV News
Crowds have gathered on the beach Credit: ITV News
The Coastguard was called at 1:30pm Credit: ITV News

Volunteers worked through the night to keep the animal alive until the tide came back in, but confirmed this morning that the whale had not survived.

In a Facebook post the Coastguard said: "Unfortunately it was not possible to get the whale back into the sea, sadly it has now passed away."We are asking members of the public to stay away and remain behind the cordons. We are also asking dog walkers to ensure they keep their dogs on leads whilst passing the area."

The council is now working to remove the whale's body.

Northern bottlenose whales feed mostly on squid. Herring, prawns, and starfish also form part of their diet.

They are inquisitive and are mainly found in pods of between 4 and 20 whales.

They are among the deepest-diving mammals in the world - able to spend almost two hours at a time underwater. Most dives are normally though around ten minutes long.

The whales tend to be brown or black with a lighter shade on their underside.

Typically they are found in the Northern to Mid-Atlantic Ocean and on average live until they're 35.

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