Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 6°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Shingle Street: Whale dies on beach

15:44 30 September 2012

A minke whale became beached on a sand bar and died at Shingle Street on Sunday.

A minke whale became beached on a sand bar and died at Shingle Street on Sunday.

Archant

A WHALE rarely seen from the region’s coastline has died after beaching in Suffolk.

shares

The 20ft minke whale struggled for about half an hour to free itself from the shore at Shingle Street but died shortly after the arrival of an inshore lifeboat crew from Aldeburgh.

Onlookers watched helplessly as the whale struggled in the shallows.

Angler Charles Wood, of Ipswich, was fishing on the beach when he saw the drama unfold shortly after 3pm yesterday.

He said: “I was facing Orford Ness about a quarter-mile from the shingle spit and saw something thrashing around at the top of the beach.

“At first I thought it was a killer whale trying to get hold of a seal – but as the tide went down it uncovered what looked more like a minke.

“It must have become confused by the shallow water. I’ve seen plenty of porpoises and seals off the shore but never anything like this. It’s quite sad.”

Jimmy Robinson, deputy launching authority at Aldeburgh lifeboat, said the whale was still moving when he and his crew arrived.

A Harwich Coastguard spokeswoman said: “The Natural History Museum will come and carry out an autopsy to find out what the whale died from – it’s all in their hands now. We are just hoping it doesn’t float off at high water.”

Minke whales are found in the northern North Sea but rarely reach local waters and are seldom seen close to shore.

A smaller minke was put down after it was stranded on a beach in Northumberland last week.

Simone Bullion, of Suffolk Wildlife Trust, has written on the subject of minke whales and their appearance on the East Anglian coast.

According to records, the last sighting was in 2007 off Kessingland. Before that, a minke was temporarily stranded in the River Stour in 1986. The last instance of a minke carcass being found was in 1982 at Easton Broad.

shares

5 comments

  • Where is the cast pf Free Willy when you need them

    Report this comment

    the opinion man

    Sunday, September 30, 2012

  • Such a shame, beautiful creature.

    Report this comment

    a friend

    Monday, October 1, 2012

  • That appears to be a juvenile fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus). Note the dark gray extending unto the left side of the whale. It's also appears to lack the white flipper bands characteristic of minke whales, although you can't get the best view of them from this angle. Do you know how long it is?

    Report this comment

    OttaSotta

    Sunday, September 30, 2012

  • With each stranding in the UK, it seems appropriate to ask when will the public begin to ask the oil companys responsible for funding these seismic testing to become accountable for these mammal deaths? Your press has reported on the following stranding within your waters since the beginning of August: 2 fin whales strandings, 1 beaked whale stranding, 1 unusual sighting of humpback in Netherlands' harbor, mass stranding of 29 pilot whales, 2 sei whales strandings and baleen whale stranding. At the same time seismic and other surveys have been going on which includes the following research vessels: Polarcus Adira, Celtic Voyager, Geo Caspian, Tasman, Vantage, Ramform Viking, Symphony, Western Pride, Geco Triton, and Bibi Tethra. We the people alone must ask that our governments begin in earnest to fully investiage the connection between seismic testing and cetacean deaths when the circumstantial evidence points directly at seismic testing as instigating these strandings. What has been lacking is the utilization of randomly selected & independent entities being responsible for collecting and analyzing all factors surround these strandings and deaths.

    Report this comment

    Edward Johnson

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

  • The Northumberland whale was a sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis).

    Report this comment

    OttaSotta

    Sunday, September 30, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

The fire broke out in a kitchen of a ground floor flat High Street North, West Mersea at 8pm.

Firefighters tackled a flat blaze in north-east Essex on Thursday night.

Jonny Williams, pictured during his loan spell at Ipswich Town earlier this season

Ipswich Town have completed a sensational double swoop moments before the 5pm ‘emergency’ loan deadline – landing Jonny Williams and Zeki Fryers from Crystal Palace.

Network Rail engineers carried out essential track repairs in the tunnel near Ipswich train station. It started at 11pm and is expected to finish at 5am on Friday.

Rail services in Suffolk were delayed on Thursday night due to emergency engineering work.

The search and rescue operation off the coast of Felixstowe.

Two illegal immigrants plunged to their deaths in north-east Essex after desperately jumping from a ship in an attempt to swim to shore after a failed attempt to smuggle themselves in to the UK, an inquest has heard.

A Hyundai i20, BMW 120 and another vehicle, unknown at this stage, were involved in the collision on the A14 eastbound at Beyton at 7.50pm, police said.

A three-vehicle crash on the A14 near Bury St Edmunds injured three motorists tonight.

Strikes in Byford Road, Sudbury was hit by ram raiders

A stolen Land Rover was used to smash down the door of a bowling alley in Sudbury last night, before the raiders stole money and a change machine from inside the building.

Roe deer feeding in oilseed rape field, Suffolk, by Kevin Sawford

An award-winning wildlife photographer will be giving an illustrated talk on his craft to a group of like-minded enthusiasts.

A bus and a woman have collided in St Andrew's Street South, Bury St Edmunds.

A young woman has been taken to hospital after being involved in a collision with a bus in Bury St Edmunds.

A 27-year-old woman was jogging in Grove Road when a cyclist grabbed her buttock as he cycled past at around 6.30pm on Tuesday,  March 10.

Police are linking three sexual assault incidents in Felixstowe, it was announced today.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages