WHALE UPDATE: “All we can hope is that nature does take its course and does not suffer too long”

Hunstanton whale ANL-160402-113352001

Hunstanton whale ANL-160402-113352001

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The next few hours are crucial in the battle to save the life of a sperm whale beached at Hunstanton this morning.

Sea Life Sanctuary staff from the town, who are on scene with other rescurers, said the 14m animal is still breathing and alive.

Hunstanton whale ANL-160402-113338001

Hunstanton whale ANL-160402-113338001

UK Coastguard is advising people to keep a safe distance away from a whale.

At around 7.30 this morning the Coastguard received a call to say that the whale had beached itself. Hunstanton Coastguard Rescue Team was sent to the location and is still in the area to assist and make sure people are kept at a safe distance.

UK Coastguard Jeremy Littlewood said: “This is the second whale to beach itself on Hunstanton Beach and the sixth whale that the UK Coastguard has dealt with in this area. We are planning to cordon off the beach later today. It is obviously a very distressing scene and we would advise members of the public, for their own safety, to keep at a safe distance.

“We have informed the Receiver of Wreck and the Zoological Society of London.”

Second beached whale at Hunstanton. Photo: Elaine Bird MLNF16EB02203 ANL-160402-112436001

Second beached whale at Hunstanton. Photo: Elaine Bird MLNF16EB02203 ANL-160402-112436001

Staff from Hunstanton Sealife Centre are currently on the scene and are asking people to stay away.

Manager Nigel Croasdale said: “We are not at this stage expecting a successful result so I would advise people to stay away.”

Stephen Marsh from Marine Life Rescue UK says this is now the 30th stranding to happen in Europe.

Mr Marsh said divers will not be heading out to the scene.

Hunstanton whale ANL-160402-113327001

Hunstanton whale ANL-160402-113327001

He said: “All we can hope is that nature does take its course and does not suffer too long. It is heartbreaking and we now up to 30 in total in England, Holland and Germany.”

The first whale beached at Hunsanton on Friday, January 22. It was only removed last Friday.

Four more young male whales from the same pod had also died in Lincolnshire at the same time.

This week West Norfolk Council revealed the cost of removing the whale that beached two weeks ago as being £14,000.

Whale at Hunstanton ANL-160402-111931001

Whale at Hunstanton ANL-160402-111931001