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Dead whale 'being moved from Withernsea beach this week'

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image captionThe sperm whale was one of seven that became stranded on Withernsea beach on Christmas Eve

The body of a 40ft (12m) long sperm whale which washed up on a beach is to be removed later this week.

It was one of seven whales that died after becoming stranded at Withernsea, East Yorkshire, on 24 December.

Contractors are designing special equipment to take the bodies off the beach close to the centre of the town.

Paul Tripp, from East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said moving the carcass was "a big operation" and had taken lots of planning.

"We've worked and spoke to local fisherman to get understanding of the tides and how that may affect the beach," he said.

"So there's really been a big operation going on in the background."

Mr Tripp said wooden sea defences would have to be removed to allow heavy machinery onto the beach to haul the whale away using a metal sledge.

It is hoped the carcass, estimated to weigh 20 tonnes, will be removed by the end of the week.

There is no explanation as to how the pod of seven whales, which normally feed in deep waters, became stranded on the shallow North Sea coast.

An expert from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue said the whales had most likely suffered a "navigation error".

Four other dead whales remain on the beach in a more remote area north of the town.

The stretch of shoreline is owned by the Crown Estates and Mr Tripp said they would be responsible for removing the bodies from their land.

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Related Topics

  • Whales
  • Withernsea

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