The pod of pilot whales has now left Loch Carnan and marine experts are hopeful that they will remain in deeper waters.
The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) have recovered one beached whale body, however the team have been forced to withdraw due to worsening weather conditions. Marine Scotland’s vessel MPV Hirta is assisting the operation.
Alisdair Jack, Scottish National Organiser of the BDMLR, said: “The reasons why whales beach themselves is not known, however illness can be a factor. We are hopeful that the remaining members of this pod have now left the vicinity and moved out to sea. The support provided by the Scottish Government, and by the MPV Hirta in particular, have been very much appreciated by the BDMLR.”
Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson said: “I am pleased to hear that the pod has left the Loch and hope they remain in deeper waters. The loss of life is very unfortunate but a number of teams working together in South Uist has ensured that a greater tragedy has been averted. Given the death of one whale, and clear injuries to a number of other animals, the MPV Hirta will continue to search for the pod and provide monitoring assistance.”