A DEAD whale has been seen floating in the Thames Estuary, sparking navigation warnings to any ships in the area, the Coastguard has confirmed.
A tugboat spotted what is believed to be a humpback whale, near the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, at around 7.30am this morning, the Thames Coastguard added.
Port of Sheerness officials are working to try and recover the dead mammal before conducting a post mortem examination to try and discover the cause of death.
A Thames Coastguard spokesman said: “It’s running with the tide so it will go out eastwards if it is not lassoed.
“The Port of Sheerness, whose jurisdiction it falls under, are looking to recover it and bring it ashore.
“It looks likely that it will be post-mortemed to find out why it died. We have issued a local navigation warning.
“Obviously for larger vessels, the whale isn’t going to present too much of a problem.”
The news comes amid reports from South Africa suggesting that 19 whales have beached in Cape Town, with five of them dying. Rescue workers are hosing down the remaining whales to try and keep them alive.