Rescuers are attempting to save North Sea Bottlenose

Rescuers are attempting to save a 26ft (7.9m) North Sea Bottlenose whale stranded on mudflats at Hayling Island, Hampshire.

But the young whale, suffering from dehydration and hunger, may have to be put down officials said, depending on a decision made by vets. Firemen have been hosing it down to prevent its skin drying out, but when the tide rises sufficiently for a refloat it might not be in a fit enough state to be moved out to sea.

There are other problems explained Alex Lavine, co-ordinator for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue: ‘The the minute they get out of the water, because of the weight of the body, it starts to compress all its organs so you then get a build-up of toxins.’

As for why the whale had come to Hayling Island, Lavine added: ‘It may have come off course because it is sick or it may just have got disorientated. We don’t know why these things happen.’