People urged to stay away from Northumberland beach after carcass of 26ft whale is washed up on shore
A Coastguard team has issued a strong warning to stay clear of a Northumberland beach over safety fears after a dead whale was washed up on the coast.
Howick Coastguard Rescue Team said it held back from sharing details of the incident to keep people clear of the scene, but has issued advice after it was shared on social media.
The team was paged at 12.19pm today, Thursday, June 3, by Humber Coastguard following reports the mammal was found north of Boulmer village.
Five of its members went to the scene and found the whale – which measures 26.5ft or 8.1 metres – on the rocks.
They say it appears to have been dead for some time and they worked to take measurements and photographs, which will be passed on to the Receiver of Wreck for further assessment.
Now people are being told they must stay away from the area for their own safety, as well as given a warning anyone interfering with the remains could face criminal charges.
A plan is underway to arrange for the disposal of the carcass.
A spokesperson for the team said: “We would appreciate no speculation on the cause of death and we can confirm that there were no obvious signs of trauma to the whale other than decomposition and sea bird predation.
"The area the whale is in is very dangerous to walk on.
"The surface is extremely slippery with seaweed and very rocky.
"It would be very easy to slip and sustain a serious injury on here.
"In addition to that, 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.”
The team has also issued a reminder that in an emergency at sea or on the coast, or if someone thinks a person is in difficulty, they should always call the Coastguard by dialling 999.