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Last Updated: Monday, 4 August, 2003, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK
Whale caught up in fishing net
Minke whale
Attempts to free the whale will begin again on Tuesday
A rescue mission is due to resume on Tuesday after a minke whale calf got into trouble after becoming trapped in thick fishing nets off the west Wales coast.

The search for the whale began early on Monday, when Milford Haven coastguards received a report that it was spotted afloat and in a "poor condition" near the beach at New Quay in Ceredigion.

The Dyfed-Powys Police helicopter scoured the area and the whale was eventually found two miles out to sea.

Rob Penrose, the Whales Strandings Coordinator for Wales, described the whale as a "juvenile minke".

"It's very much alive at the moment but it's has a fishing net entangled around it's nose which extends along the body to about 4ft past the dorsal fin," he explained.

"We've just been out to try and free it from the net but the animal is still sufficiently active to evade us.

Wedged between rocks

"We're going to try again tomorrow. We had to break away today as we didn't really have any suitable equipment.

"And if anybody's over-flying the area Tuesday morning, we'd appreciate a fix if they do spot the whale."

Over the weekend, another whale was found washed up at Mill Bay on nearly St Ann's Head over the weekend.

The body of the five metre long-finned pilot whale has became wedged between rocks at Mill Bay, near St Ann's Head in Pembrokeshire.

Members of the public have been asked to keep away from the area as it is too dangerous for people to go to see the carcass.

Cliffs, slippery rocks and the tide have also meant experts cannot get near to the whale to investigate the cause of its death.

It is not known if there a connection however, coastguards have said it is unusual for two to be found in such a short space of time.

It had been spotted by a passenger boat.

It is also thought that the mammal is not in a good condition, and may have been injured in fishing nets.

Inspectors from the RSPCA are currently on their way to the resort.

Stranded whale freed
24 May 03  |  Cornwall

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