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Bottlenose whale stranded on Sussex beach

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An injured whale normally at home in the north Atlantic Ocean has been found washed up on a beach in Sussex.

The northern bottlenose whale was discovered on East Beach, Rustington, near Littlehampton on the south coast on Saturday afternoon.

Teams of volunteers covered it with wet towels and poured water onto it to help keep it hydrated and stop seagulls pecking it. Beached whales are particularly vulnerable to exposure to the sun and their skin can quickly blister when they are out of the water for prolonged periods of time.

The Coastguard Rescue Team from Littlehampton were called at about 1:30pm, and the British Divers Marine Life Rescue were also in attendance.

The whale is believed to be a young male, about 5.4 metres long and estimated to weigh about 5 tons. Dramatic aerial footage showed waves lapping around the whale as it lay on its side on the shingle, flapping its fin weakly and attempting to move.

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