A 30ft whale calf has become stranded in the Dee Estuary for the second time in as many days.

The fin whale became stranded on the Dee Estuary near Greenfield on Friday morning, but rescuers were able to release it back into the sea.

However it returned to the estuary and on Saturday morning has become trapped once again.

Rescuers have said that the situation is looking "less positive" today, and they have fears that damage caused to it will mean it will not survive.

This is The West Country: Photos: Gem SimmonsPhotos: Gem Simmons

Medics from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue are at scene to see what they can do for the animal.

A spokesperson said: "Sadly the fin whale was resighted swimming in the Dee Estuary last night just before it got dark and has been found restranded this morning in the same area.

"We have our volunteer medic team on the way again to assess the situation and whale's current condition.

"Our key concern now is that not only has the animal returned to the estuary after leaving, but that by the time the tide comes back in at lunchtime today that it will have spent a considerable amount of time out of the water.

"Whales have never evolved to be able to support their own weight on land of course, so when stranded they gradually crush themselves, causing significant internal damage to themselves.

"While yesterday we were fortunate that the animal was only stranded for a relatively short amount of time where any damage would have been limited, being stranded again now for some more hours will add to any damage that it has already sustained and may make it unviable to survive."

"We are saddened to say that the outlook today is looking less positive than yesterday, and we will update later with more news as the incident unfolds."

The team issued an update on the whale's situation at 6.45pm on Saturday, and admits the situation is looking increasingly bleak for the whale's chances of survival. 

A spokesperson said: "The tide has now come in once again so our team have withdrawn to safety. The whale is still alive and it will be monitored from the boat and the shore.

"It is critical to understand how difficult this situation is. A whale of this size would weigh approximately 14 tonnes and it cannot simply be dragged by heavy machinery or lifted by a crane or helicopter. These methods could easily cause severe injury as well as induce severe stress, panic and shock that could lead to its death.

"Although we want to be optimistic, we have to be absolutely realistic about the animal's chances of survival at this point. It has spent several hours out of the water gradually being crushed under its own weight over the last couple of days and the degree of internal damage this may have caused could be very significant by now.

"Even if it does swim off again this evening there is a high chance that it will restrand and/or pass away as a result."

This is The West Country: Photos: Gem SimmonsPhotos: Gem Simmons

Coastguard crews from Flint and Rhyl are in attendance at the incident, as well as the Flint RNLI crew.

A spokesman said they are monitoring the situation as people try to get pictures  while the tide is coming in, with the area also known for having areas of mud which can trap people.

They said that the police were also aware and assisting.

This is The West Country: Photos: Gem SimmonsPhotos: Gem Simmons