Whale dies after being stranded on beach
18th March 2003
A 45ft sperm whale has died after becoming stranded on a beach in East Lothian.
The body of the mammal is understood to have been spotted by canoeists.
There were initial fears when a whale carcass was spotted at the weekend at Canty Bay at North Berwick that it belonged to Beamer, the 39ft humpback whale that had become a visitor attraction in recent weeks.
It emerged that it was the same whale type as Moby, who died on the Firth of Forth, the first of its species to be stranded in the area since 1769.
Because of its length - whales and dolphins over 25ft become "fishes royal" and have the protection of the Crown - the whale has become the responsibility of the Scottish Executive and it will have to remove the carcass for burial.
A coastguard spokesman said yesterday it had received reports of two whale carcasses at the weekend, one ashore at Canty Bay on Saturday, and another reported floating in the water about 12 miles off Dunbar.
Despite the confusion, it appeared last night that Beamer, nicknamed because it was first spotted near Beamer Rock, remained unharmed.