SEVERAL DEEP diving whales have reportedly died in tragic circumstances after washing up on a Donegal beach.
As many as seven Northern Bottlenose Whales were found lying in a distressed state on Rossnowlagh beach this afternoon by tourists who notified the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).
Trained experts arrived on the scene soon after and were able to provide first aid using wet towels to keep the sea mammals hydrated and relatively relaxed.
Several members of the coastguard and An Garda Siochana were also on hand to provide support along with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
However, despite the best efforts of all those at the scene, they were ultimately helpless to prevent the animals from passing away and could only ensure they were comfortable during what for many was likely to be their final few hours.
Speaking to the Irish Mirror, the CEO of IWDG Simon said: “This is the largest mass stranding of the species ever in Ireland. And to be honest there’s very little you can do about it.
“These are a very, very big offshore species. They are prone to mass strandings.
“Really you just have to let nature take its course, provide first aid on the beach, make sure they’re not stressed by people who are too close or yapping dogs.”
The size of the mammals makes moving them next to impossible, while euthanasia is not an option, with the only drug capable of peacefully putting the whales to sleep not currently available in Ireland.
"Euthanasia of whales of this size very difficult without Immobolin, which is not available in the Republic," the IWDG explained on Facebook.
There was hope for one of the whales, which was filmed refloating itself and lifting its head to breathe as it swam out with the incoming tide.
The current status of that whale remains unknown.