Dead whale foetus found on local beach

2018-07-03 06:01
The whale carcass.

The whale carcass.

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The Southern Right baby whale foetus that was found on Kommetjie Beach on Tuesday 26 June is related to the 18 metre carcass that was floating off-shore of Kommetjie on Monday 25 June.

“It is suspected that the adult whale died during delivery of the baby and both whales died,” says Ian Klopper, NSRI Kommetjie station commander.

The adult whale was floating off-shore of Kommetjie and was towed to Hout Bay for recovery and disposal.

“The NSRI Kommetjie was alerted by an estate manager of a whale carcass on the beach. We responded to investigate and we located the baby foetus. The department of waste management of the City of Cape Town removed the carcass,” says Klopper.

The NSRI Kommetjie and NSRI Hout Bay duty crews were activated on Monday following eye-witness reports of a large whale carcass spotted floating 200 metres off-shore at Kommetjie.

On investigation NSRI Kommetjie determined that it was imminent that the whale carcass would wash ashore at Kommetjie in the vicinity of the Kommetjie boat slip-way.

The City’s Marine Animal Stranding Network were activated but as a precautionary measure NSRI Hout Bay launched its deep sea rescue craft, Nadine Gordimer, anticipating to reach the scene quickly to attach a towline to hold the whale carcass from washing ashore until a City Marine Unit could get to the scene.

The NSRI Kommetjie sea rescue craft Il Battello was also launched from NSRI Kommetjie to assist with manoeuvrability around the carcass while a towline was attached­.

The Nadine Gordimer arrived on the scene, a towline was rigged to the 12 metre Humpback whale carcass and the carcass was towed further out to sea successfully preventing it from washing ashore.

The Marine Unit arrived on the scene in their 5.5 metre rigid inflatable boat which is not sufficient to tow the whale carcass, which was estimated to be in excess of 36 ton. The NSRI Hout Bay deep sea rescue craft continued to tow the whale carcass to Hout Bay harbour where the City’s cleansing department recovered the carcass for disposal.

Bruce Bodmer, NSRI Hout Bay duty coxswain at the helm of the Nadine Gordimer said they towed the heavy whale carcass at about 3 knots and they reached Hout Bay harbour at around 14:30 on Monday.

Marine authorities are investigating the incident.


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