Massive whale beached in southern Nicaragua

People remain at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014, as others try to help a stranded whale. -- PHOTO: AFP
People remain at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014, as others try to help a stranded whale. -- PHOTO: AFP
People remain at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014, as others try to help a stranded whale. -- PHOTO: AFP
People remain at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014, as others try to help a stranded whale. -- PHOTO: AFP
People remain at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014, as others try to help a stranded whale. -- PHOTO: AFP
People remain at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014, as others try to help a stranded whale. -- PHOTO: AFP
People try to help a stranded whale at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
People try to help a stranded whale at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
People try to help a stranded whale at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
People try to help a stranded whale at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
People try to help a stranded whale at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
People try to help a stranded whale at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
People try to help a stranded whale at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
People try to help a stranded whale at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
People try to help a stranded whale at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
People try to help a stranded whale at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
People try to help a stranded whale at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
People try to help a stranded whale at Popoyo beach, 35km from Rivas, Nicaragua on Nov 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

MANAGUA (AFP) - A huge whale was stranded Friday on a white sand beach on Nicaragua's southern Pacific coast, despite efforts by dozens of tourists and residents to get it back to sea.

The whale, estimated at 18 meters (59 feet) long, beached itself Friday morning at Popoyo beach, in the town of Tola, some 111 kilometers south of the capital, according to the Environment Ministry's delegate in the region, Mario Rodriguez.

More than 50 people - from Nicaragua and elsewhere - spent the day trying to get the whale back into deeper waters, but gave up in exhaustion as the sun went down.

Police and officials from the environment ministry traveled to the scene to discuss strategies to try to save the massive marine mammal, which may be a humpback.

The Pacific region off Nicaragua's southern coast sees a lot of humpback whales and dolphins at this time of year.