The photo was taken by Largs student Kirsten Clements as a large crowd went to help, but it would appear that the minke whale has passed away.
Kirsten said: "It is about six feet long. The tide has been coming over it and it is not moving. It is a very sad sight."
A Coastguard spokesman said: "The whale has been on the shore there for a few hours. Inverclyde Council are dealing with the clearing up operation. Initial reports suggested that the whale had died and was drifting in the water. We had been keeping an eye on it, and the matter has now been handed over to Inverclyde Council. "
A council spokesman said: "We can't confirm what species of whale it is at the current time. The whale is on the beach just below the high water mark. It appears to have been dead for a while - it doesn't look like it beached itself
we are making efforts for a clearing up operation at the moment."