Several sperm whales washed up on British beaches this past weekend. Four of them died while the others managed to swim to safety.
(SUSAN HENSHAW / JONATHAN HOLT) – Four sperm whales were found dead on beaches off the coast of eastern England on Friday (January 22) and Saturday (January 23).
Her Majesty’s Coast Guard said a pod of up to six whales were spotted close to the coastline at Hunstanton, Norfolk, on Friday.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue and Beach Wardens said in an online statement wardens worked to refloat one whale which had beached itself but it died at 11pm.
Video filmed by an eyewitness on Sunday (January 24) showed the body of the large animal lying on the beach.
Footage filmed by the same man on Friday showed it floundering in the shallows as another seemed to be swimming close close by.
HM Coastguard estimated the body to be approximately 40-45 feet (12-13 meters) long and weighing approximately 30 tonnes (67,200 pounds).
Fifteen miles (25 kilometers) northwest of Hunstanton on Saturday, across a large bay called The Wash, three more sperm whales were discovered dead on a beach at Skegness.
It was likely they were originally part of the same pod seen off Hunstanton, the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Program said on its website.
It added that it would conduct an examination of the bodies.