Marine experts have been left baffled after a rare whale was found over 800 metres from the shore in the Humber Estuary, Skeffling, East Yorkshire.
The 33ft mammal is thought to have died after getting caught in shallow waters – rolling onto its own blowhole before getting swept inland by the tide. Experts are “95 percent sure” the whale is a female from the rare Sei species – only three of which have been found stranded on the British coast in the last twenty years.
“It is sad. It was in shallow water of about 4ft to 5.25ft, making contact with the bottom,” said Andy Gibson, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. “This was about 800m offshore. When it gets in that situation it rolls onto its side and it can cover its blowhole.”
“Sometimes whales come into shallow water looking for food and get stuck,” added Kirsten Smith, North Seas manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. “With the high tide the whale probably got carried up on to the salt marsh, got pushed back further in shore and then got stuck when the tide went out.”
Earlier this month a fin whale washed up dead near Spurn Point, North East Lincolnshire after getting stranded at Immingham. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has seen a rise in whale sightings over the last year but are unable to explain the increase in the North Sea.