Dead whale spotted floating off Cornish coast

The body of a dead whale was mistaken for a overturned yacht, prompting a search and rescue mission.

Just after midday yesterday (Friday, March 12) Falmouth Coastguard Operations Centre received a report of what looked like a white overturned hull drifting in Looe Bay.

RNLI Looe Lifeboat Station was contacted and the lifeboat was launched to search for the ‘boat’.

A spokesman for RNLI Looe Lifeboat Station said: “The coastguard team were able to see the object through binoculars and passed information over VHF radio to guide our crew towards the object’s location, which was further out in the bay.

“As our crew approached this object, which was drifting half a mile south east of the Rannies cardinal market, they were able to see it was the decomposing carcass of a whale.

“The whale was approximately 8m in length and at at least 1.5m of the carcass was out of the water.

“After reporting their find and current position to the coastguards, our crew were stood down and returned to station.

The body of the dead whale discovered yesterday off Looe
The body of the dead whale discovered yesterday off Looe
(Image: Looe RNLI/ Clive Palfrey)

“Whilst washing down and refueling the Atlantic 85 (lifeboat) for its next service, our crew commented they were preparing themselves for the worst, as from a distance the object looked like the upturned hull of a yacht.

“Whilst they were relieved that there were no persons in difficulty, they were saddened to find a dead whale.

“Our crew also said the first informant did the right thing by immediately contacting the coastguards when they saw the object in the bay.”

RNLI Looe Lifeboat Station is fundraising for a new lifeboat. You can read more about their appeal and how to donate here.

You can stay up-to-date on the top news near you with CornwallLive’s FREE newsletters – find out more about our range of daily and weekly bulletins and sign up here or enter your email address at the top of the page.

Cornwall Live