Public 'shocked and saddened' as dead whale found washed up on Seaton Carew beach

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Officials have insisted there is no risk to the public after a dead whale was found on Seaton Carew beach.

The coastguard and British Divers Marine Life Rescue team were alerted at about 8.30pm on Monday (August 15) after the body of the Sowerby Beaked whale was discovered.

The Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme will be taking samples of the whale tomorrow (Wednesday (August 17) to investigate the cause of death and how it ended up on land.

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The remains have since been removed by Hartlepool Borough Council, which also advised the area was safe following the incident.

Seaton Carew beachSeaton Carew beach
Seaton Carew beach

Graeme Measor, 48, who saw the marine mammal while walking his dog Dave, said: “I was shocked and saddened that such a magnificent sea animal had died and ended up on the beach.

"I’ve lived in Seaton for 13 years and have never seen one washed up.”

According to experts, strandings of whales, dolphins and porpoises are not considered uncommon in British waters as a result of the creatures getting into difficulties following prey, becoming ill or being injured by boats or fishing nets.

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But relatively little is known about Sowerby Beaked whales or their behavious as they are rarely observed at sea.

Danny Groves, of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), said: “Strandings can happen for a range of reasons and, unless a postmortem is carried out soon after the death, the true cause may never be known but likely to be man-made.”

He added: "Whales live in a world of sound and any interruption to that world from noise pollution can interfere with communication, navigating, feeding, breeding and socialising.”