There have been multiple sightings of a humpback whale in the river Thames between Rainham and Greenlithe in Kent.
The first sightings of the 26ft mammal were reported on Saturday by a diver and on Monday morning the whale was seen near the Ford factory in Dagenham.
Julia Cable, national co-ordinator of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue confirmed the sighting of the humpback whale.
Probable Humpback Whale in the Thames today, off Rainham pic.twitter.com/NBMqQDgq6P
— David Callahan (@Callahanbirder) October 6, 2019
Cable said, “We watched it move down the river, the intervals between it surfacing are perfectly normal, it was about five or six minutes which is fine, it’s what they do.
“It seems to be moving along quite happily. It’s definitely a humpback, we’ve been looking at it every time it surfaced through binoculars for three hours. There’s nothing else it can be.”
She added, “We see porpoises and dolphins but not whales. It is very rare.
“They are protected species, there isn’t much we can do. It’s just going to have to find its way out.”
The last time a humpback whale was seen in the Thames was in 2009 and in 2018 Benny the Beluga whale was seen at Gravesend.
David Callahan, 55, a nature writer said, “It seems to be actively diving and feeding, I don’t know what’s driven it here, it’s a juvenile about eight metres long. It seems to be finding food and doesn’t seem to be disturbed by container ships.
“It’s a big old thing to see in the Thames, perhaps not so much in the Atlantic.
“It’s what you expect to see on a whale-watching cruise in Hawaii, not on a walk down the Thames.”