Race to remove whale from Redcar beach before it explodes

‘The sunlight will cause pressure to build up and it will explode, probably this afternoon,’ rescue diver warns

<p>The marine mammal was spotted on the beach near a wind farm on Tuesday (stock image)</p>

The marine mammal was spotted on the beach near a wind farm on Tuesday (stock image)

A large minke whale that washed up onto the beach at Redcar is waiting to be removed amid fears it could explode.

The marine mammal was found stranded on the shore on Tuesday evening and its carcass has been checked over by authorities.

Colin Stonehouse, a member of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, attended the scene and is preparing to remove the animal from the sea at South Gare.

He said: “When I arrived I checked to see if it was alive, but it was already deceased, so we’re going to take it in. We need to pull it back, take some data and find its cause of death.”

Mr Stonehouse added that the North Sea would be its natural habitat but it’s not unusual for whales to come close to the shore.

“It could be navigation problems, there’s a lot of bruising on it. It’s female, a juvenile going towards adult, but I’d need to measure its length to get a precise age,” he said.

Mr Stonehouse was in talks with Redcar & Cleveland Council and was waiting for them to confirm when to remove the whale from the water.

“The sunlight will cause pressure to build up and it will explode, probably this afternoon.

“We need to keep dogs away, if seals come onto the beach they could bite a dog,” he added.

A crew of coastguards are in attendance to keep people away and have cordoned off that section of the beach.

A spokesperson for the Marine and Coastguard Agency said: “At approx. 7.30pm on Tuesday (1 June), HM Coastguard received a report of a dead whale washed up at South Gare.

“Redcar coastguard rescue team were sent to provide safety cover and the Receiver of Wreck, the BDMLR and Police Scotland were informed. Due to the position of the whale, it has not yet been possible to dispose of it.

“Members of the public are asked to stay away from the area. Cetaceans can carry diseases that are harmful to humans and pets, so please keep children well away and we advise that dogs are kept on leads.”

Redcar & Cleveland Council have been contacted for comment.

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