A dead whale was reported by a member of the public at Kingsdown beach near Deal in Kent early Thursday morning. Following a phone call from Trevor Weeks at the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) HQ, medic Jo Malpass (also a trustee of SWF) went down to the beach but the tide had risen and there was no sight of the animal.
At around 5pm Jo returned to the beach and was able to identify the whale as a juvenile humpback. It measured 9m in length and was placed in an upright position facing the sea. It appeared to have been involved with a ship strike due to the slice which had almost cut its body in two. Medic Tim Malpass, later joined Jo and helped to keep the public informed and away from the carcass.
Mark and Alison Stevens arrived at the scene, and Mark and Jo took blubber, skin and muscle samples to send off to Paul Jepson, at the Institute of Zoology in London, for analysis.
The BDMLR team left the site at approximately 9pm, when it was dark, having spoken to the coastguard regarding its disposal.
By Jo Malpass