People urged to stay away from dead whale due to health risks after it is washed up on North East coastline
A plea has been issued to stay away from a stretch of the region’s coast after the body of a whale was washed up on its shore.
Berwick Coastguard Rescue Team was first paged at 11pm yesterday, Wednesday, June 30, after a report of an object drifting in the water, believed to have been a kayak.
Searches were launched, but after nothing was found, and there had been no reports of people missing or in distress, the team was stood down – but have praised the caller for alerting them to their concerns and say they did the right thing.
The team were then called out at 10am today, this time to reports of a dead whale on the beach to the north of Berwick Pier, with three members of Eyemouth Coastguard Rescue Team also called in to attend the incident.
Following the sad discovery, the teams are warning people to steer clear from the area due to the health hazard it poses, with anyone found to be interfering with the body told they can face criminal proceedings.
Meanwhile, Northumberland County Council is arranging for the disposal of the carcass – which measures 9-metres of 29.5ft – from the beach.
A spokesperson for the Berwick crew said today said: “Team members attended the scene where a 9-metre whale carcass had washed up on the beach.
"It appeared to have been dead for some time.
"Measurements and photographs were taken and the information passed on to the Receiver of Wreck for further assessment.
“Decomposing whales pose a significant health hazard from bacteria so SHOULD NOT be approached.
"Whales are Royal Fish and the property of the Receiver of Wreck.
"It is a criminal offence to interfere with the carcass.
"Members of the public are urged not to visit or approach due to the health risk and potential risk of serious personal injury.”
They added people who see anyone in danger on our coastline, cliffs or on the water should dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.