Cliff Quay recovery for Orwell whale

VIDEO A RECOVERY operation was due to take place today to remove the whale which died after getting stranded in the river Orwell.Heavy lifting equipment was to be used to lift the northern bottlenose's body from the water at Cliff Quay after it was moved from Nacton Shores, where it floated on the tide on Saturday.

A RECOVERY operation was due to take place today to remove the whale which died after getting stranded in the river Orwell.

Heavy lifting equipment was to be used to lift the northern bottlenose's body from the water at Cliff Quay after it was moved from Nacton Shores, where it floated on the tide on Saturday.

The whale, dubbed George by rescuers, died early on Saturday after being injected with powerful sedatives by specialist vets.

It had been stranded in the shallows beneath the Orwell bridge at about 1.30am on Saturday and left beached when the tide went out.


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The six-metre whale was first spotted in the Orwell near the bridge at about 2pm on Friday. By early evening it had entered shallow waters on the Orwell Country Park side of the river and hopes of saving it were almost completely dashed when it could not be herded out to deeper water.

Marine mammal medics from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue group kept a close watch on it overnight after a decision was made to put it to sleep soon after first light on Saturday.

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A steady stream of people braved the muddy banks of the Orwell later on Saturday to get a closer look at the whale, this time nearer Nacton Shores where its body had floated on the tide during the day on Saturday.

The coastguard kept watch to ensure no one got stuck in the mud as Ipswich Borough Council staff worked out how to remove it from the water. The body was later towed to Cliff Quay and tied up until recovery could be organised.

Police were today urging drivers to be cautious of youths playing 'chicken' with traffic on the A14 close to the Orwell bridge.

The warning followed calls from concerned drivers who had spotted youths on the road, at a time when many people had parked close by to catch a glimpse of the Orwell whale.

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