Autopsy to be carried out on beached whale on Northumberland coastline

Experts are set to carry out an autopsy on a dead humpback whale washed up on the Northumberland coastline.

The young whale beached between Craster and Dunstanburgh Castle on Monday morning.

The public were warned to stay away as the creature could pose a serious health risk, as well as safety risks caused by the location of the whale on slippery, uneven rocks.

Now the Howick Coastguard Rescue Team are preparing to tackle the tricky decision of how to remove the whale swiftly, starting with an autopsy today.

A cordon was erected yesterday to help wash the creature out to sea but this was unsuccessful, while the location of the whale also makes it difficult to remove via the shore.

Dunstanburgh Castle Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Locals have been told not to approach the whale nor take any photographs, due to harmful bacteria and parasites carried by the rotting corpse. Toxic, foul-smelling chemicals such as putrescine and cadaverine can also leak out of deceased whales.

Yesterday, the coastguard warned:

The whale is partially decomposed and poses a very significant risk to health to anybody who approaches it.

Howick Coastguard Rescue Team

Whales usually carry up to 7,500 lice and once their host whale has died they will attempt to attach themselves to humans, which can cause serious illness.

The Howick Coastguard Rescue Team has kindly requested that the public do not visit the scene under any circumstances and that they allow HM Coastguard, British Divers Marine Life Rescue and the Receiver Of Wrecks to go about their duties undisturbed.