Tyne & Wear

Sperm whale 'struggling' close to Northumberland shore

Beached whale Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Crowds are on the beach watching the whale's progress

There are fears for the welfare of a sperm whale beached in shallow water off the Northumberland coast.

The 40ft (12m) mammal was first sighted off Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, before moving to the Wansbeck estuary, between Cambois and Sandy Bay.

It was reported to "struggling to hold itself up", about 150ft (45m) off shore, before the tide went out, leaving it stranded.

Members of British Divers Marine Life Rescue are monitoring its progress.

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