Whale goes Forth towards freedom


EDINBURGH - A sperm whale at the centre of a major rescue operation was last night swimming free again after spending several hours stuck on a sand bank in the River Forth.

The 40ft mammal, nicknamed Moby, gave rescuers a scare when he got stuck in two metres of water near Cramond in the Forth. He had been flushed downstream earlier in the day.

Boats were on guard to watch the whale, whose plight brought hundreds of spectators to the banks of the river over the weekend to watch rescue attempts.

By 11.30 p.m., the massive beast had managed to free itself. A coastguard spokeswoman said: "We have heard it is off the sand bank. It has just dived into deeper water. The tide is rising but we are unsure about its whereabouts at the moment."

It had already spent three nights trapped in the Forth and was coaxed down the estuary yesterday afternoon by a flotilla of boats.