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Stranded whale put down on NSW beach

AAP logoAAP 4/08/2016 By Frances Mao

A rare young whale has been euthanised after washing up on a beach on the NSW south coast.

Surfers found the 3.75m beaked whale stranded in the shallows at Mystics Beach at Killalea State Park, near Kiama, on Thursday and raised the alarm with authorities who worked throughout the day to save the animal.

Despite a marathon rescue attempt to stabilise the animal and release it back into the water, the silvery-grey whale ended up re-stranding on the beach.

"About 15 of us carried it out on a specialised stretcher and it actually swam through the current and out through the breakers, about 200m, but then it came back into the shore," Killalea state park manager Nathan Cattell told AAP on Friday.

The whale was then transported under police escort to calmer waters at Shoalhaven Beach for another attempt. However, following a vet's assessment, the whale was determined to be too weak for the water and was put down.

Mr Cattell said he was absolutely gutted.

"We all worked very, very hard, didn't leave any stone unturned in trying to help it survive.

"People in their wetsuits stuck around for the whole night, but the decision had to be made because otherwise it might have struggled in the water again."

Beaked whales are very rare and never normally seen so close to shore, said marine mammal rescue organisation ORRCA president Ronny Ling.

"They're deep-sea animals who live off the breaks, so when we get one on the beach you know there's a problem. This animal shouldn't be in so close, it triggers alarm bells straight away."

An autopsy will be conducted into the animal's death.

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