ANOTHER whale has died after being found stranded on a West Fife beach yesterday (Thursday).

Three of the mammals died on Thursday morning and British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) medics confirmed that vets had agreed a fourth one, found hours later at Torryburn, should be put to sleep to end any further suffering.

The BDMLR said it had been one of the most "protracted, logistically challenging and emotionally draining" incidents that their medics have dealt with in recent years.

"Many of our team have been out on all of the days for many hours in freezing cold, windy, wet and muddy conditions trying to help the whales in incredibly difficult circumstances where the odds have constantly been against us," said a spokesperson.

"It really is a struggle to find the words that convey how truly difficult and heart-breaking this incident was for us all to deal with both physically and emotionally.

"We would especially like to thank each and every member of our team that were involved both on the ground and on the phones for their dedication, determination and compassion over the last few days.  

"Every single one of them is a credit to BDMLR and represented us with great professionalism in the face of the many challenges that were thrown our way. 

"Again, it is difficult to find the right way for us to express how grateful we are to have such amazing and brilliant people in our organisation who are so willing to give so much to what we do as a charity.

"We would, of course, like to thank our colleagues at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Blue Watch at Dunfermline, Kinghorn Coastguard, Special Operations Response Team, Network Rail and SMASS for their involvement and support during the incident too.

"Without them this would have been a far more horrendous situation for us to deal with alone."

Five whales were first discovered stranded on Tuesday morning after getting into difficulties near Culross.

The Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme will carry out post mortem examinations on all four deceased animals in the hope of finding out why they may have got into difficulty. 

The fifth whale, which was last seen on Tuesday, remains missing and may still be in the area. 

Anyone who spots it is asked to report it urgently to the BDMLR's emergency hotline on 01825 765546.