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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Huge sperm whale stranded in the Swale at Seasalter to be brought to shore by vessel from Medway Ports

21 February 2014
by KentOnline reporter

A huge sperm whale has been brought to shore for tests after it was stranded off the coast of Seasalter.

The Medway Otter, a 50ft steel workboat, was dispatched late this afternoon to tow the whale back to the Lower Camber in Sheerness Port at around 5pm.

It was then due to be left as far up the slipway as possble so the Zoological Society could perform tests.

The huge sperm whale as seen from Seasalter. Picture Mike Gould

The huge sperm whale as seen from Seasalter. Picture: Mike Gould

Experts are hoping to establish how the huge mammal died yesterday - and work out how it will be recovered.

After the autopsy, it is expected to be taken to landfill or incinerated early next week.

Jeremy Littlewood, from Thames Coastguard, said it is in the same place in the Swale as yesterday.

He said earlier today the situation was being monitored.

The whale was yesterday believed to be 20ft long, but Mr Littlewood said it could be up to 40ft.


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Becky Austin, the deputy Receiver of Wreck, said experts from the Institute of Zoology would take samples from the whale to establish how it died.

However, a full autopsy is unlikely to be carried out.

She said: "The skin of sperm whales is really tough, so it's pretty hard work.

"It will be up to Medway Ports to commission someone to dispose of the whale."

The spot in the Swale where the whale caught in the mud. Picture Ruth Cuerden

The spot in the Swale where the whale caught in the mud. Picture: Ruth Cuerden

Coastguard crews and marine experts were called yesterday after a sighting of the whale in the Swale between Whitstable and Sheppey.

It was spotted by Faversham tour guide Mark Roser before emergency crews were called to the scene, together with a team from British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

Click here for more news from Canterbury.

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