Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Mass stranding of pilot whales at Anstruther in Fife

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Media captionA large number of bystanders gathered on the beach at the scene

A total of 16 whales have died after being stranded on the east coast of Scotland.

Ten others were refloated after being kept alive by vets from British Divers and Marine Life Rescue.

The incident between Anstruther and Pittenweem in Fife involved pilot whales, each of them approximately 20ft (6m) long.

The whales that survived will be monitored for the next 24 hours to see if they re-beach.

Forth coastguard were alerted to the incident at about 07:00 BST on Sunday.

Three of the whales that died were calves.

The incident drew a large number of bystanders to the scene, prompting the coastguard to urge the public to stay away to allow rescue teams to carry out their duties.

Coastguard teams from St Andrews and Leven, Anstruther lifeboat, and Fife Police assisted with the incident.

A further 24 pilot whales, thought to be from the same pod, were spotted in shallow water about three miles away at Cellardyke.

They have been monitored for signs that they are in danger of stranding.

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