A rescue operation was mounted earlier today to rescue a whale floundering in a river near Glasgow Airport.

The distressed animal was stuck in shallow water in the Black Cart on what appeared to be a sandbank.

Coastguard search and rescue teams raced to the scene just beyond the far end of the airport runway.

But by mid-afternoon it was confirmed the whale had died.

The whale was found just ten feet from the shore and half a dozen rescuers were in waist-high water trying to roll the animal into a rescue tarpaulin.

These dramatic pictures were taken by Scott McEwan.

The dead creature was a northern bottlenose whale, which can grow to 28-feet and weigh five tons.

Earlier this month three of the species played cat and mouse with naval boats in the Operation Joint Warrior exercise at the Clyde Submarine Base.

At least one has already been found dead. The mammals usually patrol deep underwater canyons hunting squid.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue unit confirmed the whale had perished "despite our best efforts."

HM Coastguard has been contacted for comment.