A pod of pilot whales, seen off the Essex shore in shallow waters, has swum back to deeper waters with one discovered dead on mudflats.  Forty whales were seen in the shallow channels among the Blackwater Estuary sandbanks on Tuesday.

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A juvenile female was discovered dead in the mudflats, in line with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue.  There were anxieties the whales could become beached on sandbanks when pilot were seen about a mile between Brightlingsea and Jaywick.

Essex Wildlife Trust said the creatures appeared “distressed and disorientated”.

A police chopper was utilized to help manage the operation to support the whales to reform and head for deeper water and to keep other boats away.   There are numerous organisations and of course media operations following the developments.  Probably the best way to keep up to date and watch media streams is through the various web sites – you might need to use a proxy like these from outside the UK.
“There definitely was a threat of two groups beaching on the sandbanks, but we moved them away from danger.”
“The [living] whales are in deeper water, but not far out, and two groups are not showing signals of confusion.
“They’re feeding on herring, which they haven’t been doing, so it reveals they’re doing something natural.   “The pod only must go farther out and then they will be all right, however they were seen near Osea Island this morning, so they could enter shallow waters again.”

A post mortem assessment in the juvenile that is dead is supposed to be carried out by the Zoological Society of London.  The pod was seen off the Norfolk and Suffolk shore last week and at the weekend near Kent.

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