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Washed-up giant shark removed from beach by forklift

The body of a giant basking shark which washed up on Scottish beach has been removed by a forklift.

The 24ft-fish was spotted “floundering” in waters close to Maidens village on the Ayrshire coast on Sunday night raising hopes it could be rescued.

But it was later found dead, apparently the result of becoming tangled up in rope.

Local resident Yolanda McCall said: “I was staying near Maidens on Sunday evening and a friend told me there was a whale getting washed up on the beach.

“I contacted Culzean Country Park rangers and and my husband also notified the coastguard.

“It was bobbing around in the water and we couldn’t tell if it was dead or alive. I wanted to try to help if it was alive and floundering, so I put on a wetsuit and got in the water to check.

“Sadly it was dead, but it looked very complete, a recent death. It was tangled in a long loop of rope, in its mouth and caught around its tail.

“Maybe it got tired trying to free itself. Very sad. A coastguard team attended and confirmed it dead.”

Basking sharks are an endangered species which are often spotted off the Ayrshire coast in the summer months.

It is the second largest shark or fish in the ocean, after the whale shark. When they die, experts say they are usually die and discovered a washed-up carcass is rare.

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