Volunteers postpone rescue efforts
22nd March 2004
Rescue workers were last night forced to postpone attempts to save a 36-foot sperm whale beached on a man-made island off the Lincolnshire coast.
The 13 volunteers from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue called off the rescue mission at 7.30pm after failing to free the 15-tonne animal from a sandbank at Sutton Bridge in The Wash. The attempt was called off due to safety reasons and bad weather.
They will return for the next high tide - at 7.12 this morning - to try again, said a spokesman, Tony Woodley.
"Tomorrow morning has got to be the last hope, I would say, to try to save this animal," he said last night.
It is not known how the whale came to be on the bank - it may have been stranded due to ill health or confused by the shallow water of the Wash.
Research has shown that low frequency sonar waves used by submarines can be heard by whales and dolphins and scientists think this could "stress" them so much that it causes them to beach.
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