Huge whale washes up on Newquay beach as residents share heartbreak

Police cordon off area after large whale found dead by surfers at Fistral Beach

Lydia Patrick
Wednesday 15 November 2023 11:02 GMT
Huge whale washes up on Newquay beach

A popular beach in Cornwall has been cordoned off after a huge whale washed up dead on the shore.

The fin whale, believed to be around 16 metres long, was found on Fistral Beach by watersports teacher Rob Barber when he was checking the surfing conditions at first light.

The 47-year-old said the whale had been seen looking lost and in trouble around Towan Head on Tuesday night.

When he approached the mammal, Mr Barber said he was perplexed as at first glance it looked like a huge mass of rocks covered in sand.

On a closer look, he said he realised it was the whale and called the coastguard and police, who cordoned off the beach.

Experts have confirmed the creature is a fin whale, the second largest mammal in the world, second only to the blue whale.

The fin whale is the second biggest mammal in the world (Newquay Activity Centre)

Mr Barber told The Independent: “When I first saw it, it was a combination of feelings, I was awe-struck at such a magnificent beast.

“I felt shocked at first, I couldn’t work out what it was, it looked like a huge rock.

“Then I was super sad because it’s such a huge, beautiful creature.”

The whale did not survive and people have been advised to stay away from the area since the blood can be toxic.

Experts will carry out an autopsy to establish what led to its death and determine whether the tide will wash the animal back out or if it needs to be moved manually.

According to the watersports teacher, whale sightings have become more common off Cornwall’s north coast.

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