Sperm whale removed from Northumberland coast after days of hard work from services

The body of a large sperm whale has been removed from a Northumberland beach following its death after coming ashore at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 9:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 2:36 am
Coastguard teams worked for days while the whale was stranded. Photo: Blyth Coastguards Facebook Page

It was monitored by volunteer medics from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, but sadly died after it became stranded.

Work took place over the weekend to record measurements of the whale, which was recorded to be more than 13 metres long and weighed up to 30 tons.

A large cordon was put in place and the public were urged to stay away from the area due to harmful bacteria being present.

The public were advised by both Blyth and Newbiggin Coastguard Rescue Teams that their members would remain on scene until a disposal plan for the whale’s carcass was put in place.

It was reported on Tuesday, October 15, by services who were dealing with the incident, that the whale had been removed from the beach.

This followed an autopsy on the whale and test samples were removed by Cetacean Stranding Investigation Programme (CSIP).

Coastguard Rescue Teams from Newbiggin, Blyth, Amble and Howick along with Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade and Senior Coastal Operation Officers from Amble and Hartlepool were stood down shortly after.

A spokesperson from Newbiggin Coastguard Rescue Team said: “We would like to thank everyone involved in the incident. Especially those who provided refreshments for our volunteers who have maintained a constant guard since 4pm on Friday.”

A spokesperson for Amble Coastguards said: “During the autopsy the stomach contents had been examined and as well as shrimp beaks (usual feed) there was also a large plastic bag found. Although it isn't thought that the plastic bag caused the whales death, it is sad to see firsthand the damage that plastic does.

“We would like to give a big shout out to the staff at Sandy Bay Caravan Park for keeping us supplied with teas and coffees, as well as the numerous members of public that kept us fed.”