Crews spend four hours removing dead minke whale from Felixstowe beach

A cordon was placed around the 40ft whale before it was removed from Felixstowe beach. Picture: MEGA

A cordon was placed around the 40ft whale before it was removed from Felixstowe beach. Picture: MEGAN GOODWIN - Credit: Archant

A dead 40 foot whale that washed up onto Felixstowe beach over the weekend has been safely removed.

Crews working to remove the whale, which washed up on Felixstowe beach on Saturday. Picture: GREGG B

Crews working to remove the whale, which washed up on Felixstowe beach on Saturday. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Specialist teams from the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) spent around four hours removing the 40-foot adult minke whale from the beach yesterday morning.

The public was advised to avoid the area of the beach between the pier and Mannings Amusement Park while the removal took place.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Coastal District Council said yesterday: “The council has now successfully completed the removal of the whale on Felixstowe beach.

“The operation, organised by our partners Suffolk Coastal Norse, took about four hours today and we had no issues during the process.

The whale being removed from Felixstowe beach. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The whale being removed from Felixstowe beach. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

“The waste has been taken by lorry to Clarkes of Melton, a specialist abattoir/rendering plant in Melton.

“The area has now been cleared and the high tide tonight at about 8pm should wash away anything remaining.

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“The small section of the beach has remained cordoned off tonight and is due to be removed on Friday.

“We’d like to apologise for any inconvenience and would like thank the public for their cooperation throughout the process.”

It took crews four hours to remove the whale from the beach. Picture: GREGG BROWN

It took crews four hours to remove the whale from the beach. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

The whale was one of three to die close to the Suffolk coast over the weekend. A second adult minke died 20 miles out to sea while a baby minke was discovered washed up near the River Ore at Orford.

• Watch tragic footage of minke whale washed up at Orford.

The CSIP has carried out tests on the whale found in Felistowe, however the cause of its death has not yet been confirmed.

It is thought that the whale may have been struck by a boat either before or after its death.

Speaking to this newspaper earlier this week, a British Divers Marine Life Rescue spokesman said: “There is a rumour that one of them died possibly due to a ship strike.”

He added that it was not uncommon for small groups of minke to be swimming off the Suffolk coast.

John Cresswell, from the Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service, said whales could become disorientated closer to shore where mud banks interfered with their sonar.

Other possible factors include poor hydration, not feeding properly, or disease.