Pictures show 30-tonne fin whale dead on Bridlington Beach sparking largest removal operation of its kind
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Onlookers were left stunned after they discovered a 30-tonne whale carcass on a British beach. The 55ft mammal was found grounded on Bridlington Beach, in East Yorkshire on Tuesday (May 2) sparking a huge operation to move it.
It is thought the whale had become grounded while swimming along the coast in the North Sea before tragically dying on the beach. Dramatic photos have captured the operation to remove the remains, which has been deemed ‘the largest of its kind’.
Photographer Steve Shipley captured the mammoth task while out walking along the beach. He said: "The whale was grounded on Bridlington Beach on Tuesday and died after grounding. Today it was removed from the beach on a low loader lorry. It took them eight hours to remove it from the beach before a journey to Sheffield. It was 17m long and around 30-tonnes."
Experts feared the huge whale would have to be dissected in order to remove it from the popular beach. But contractors were able to lift the giant mammal onto a trailer using JCB diggers in a gruelling eight-hour operation.
The body was successfully removed at just after 4pm on Friday (May 5). A spokesperson for East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “This has been an incredibly challenging and difficult operation – the largest of its kind we’ve ever dealt with. This was a really sad incident for all involved."
The fin whale is the second largest species of whale in the world, with some reported to measure up to 20m long.