Beached porpoise is rescued on beach in Skegness

WILDLIFE enthusiasts were given a large surprise last week, when they stumbled upon a beached porpoise in Skegness. The distressed animal was found on the beach in Seacroft while volunteers with the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust were conducting their latest Shoresearch.

The surprise beaching came just days after the corpse of a sperm whale was removed from Skegness beach after washing ashore.

Fortunately this tale had a happier outcome. The volunteers were able to refloat the animal, and it swam to safety.

The trust’s coastal ranger, Dave Miller said: “I got a shout to help, there was a harbour porpoise caught in the surf and unable to get itself swimming.

“It was facing up the beach so maybe had chased something into the shallow water?

“We carried the porpoise out to deeper water until the animal had enough depth in the water to flick her tail and swim off, as you can imagine on a beach here it was quite a walk to get into water about waist height.

“We watched as the porpoise swam out a fair distance and then turned south, but it seemed to be swimming well.”

Harbour porpoises are the most commonly seen species of cetacean (whales and dolphins) on the Lincolnshire coast. But even sightings of them are never guaranteed and may just be a glimpse of the dorsal fin sticking out of the water.

The trust’s Shoresearches see the public and staff walk along the coastline looking for evidence of the wildlife that lives in the sea, such as sea shells, empty crab shells, mermaid’s purses (the egg cases of skates and rays) and sea potatoes (a sea urchin).

The next Shoresearch event is at Chapel Point on Saturday, April 14 from 10am to noon.

Call 01754 898057 for more details.

The beaching of the porpoise at Skegness came just days after the carcass of a sperm whale washed ashore next to the town’s pier.

It was eventually removed following a major overnight operation by council contractors before being disposed of at a specialist landfill site in Winterton in the north of Lincolnshire.