40-foot whale washes up on beach in Essex

Jamie Johnson
Whale on the beach - Big Blue Ocean Cleanup

A 40-foot fin whale has washed up on a beach in Essex.

The discovery was made this morning, and has attracted a lot of local interest, but authorities have warned onlookers to keep their distance as it could pose an infection risk to the public.

A team from Essex Police cordoned off an area of the beach and members of one of the world’s leading ocean cleanup non-profits are also on scene.

Environmental group Big Blue Ocean Cleanup said it was a fin whale, which can grow up to 80ft in length and is the second largest mammal in the world after the blue whale.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue charity said the whale is "actually rather small for this species" and "therefore this animal is a juvenile".

"We strongly advise people avoid going near it as there is a risk of contracting an infection from contact with its bodily fluids or the body itself.

"Removal of the carcass is the responsibility of the beach owner," the charity said, in a Facebook post. 

The Telegraph understands that is Tendring District Council.

 

Essex Police said: "Sadly a 40ft whale has been washed up on Clacton this morning. We are currently in attendance with other organisations and discussions are under way on how to remove her.

"The area is cordoned off and the public are advised to stay away."

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said officers were called to a report of a "large object" on the beach, later confirmed to be a dead whale, just after 5.30am.

Clacton-on-Sea is the largest town on the Essex Sunshine Coast, and its tourist board says it is a bustling but affordable seaside resort.