Rescuers Attempt to Help Stranded Whale in Thames in Southwest London

Rescuers work to save a small whale that has been stranded along the River Thames in southwest London on the evening of May 9.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) arrived at the Richmond Lock and Weir at about 9 p.m., about two hours after the young minke whale was first spotted to be stuck at the lock’s boat rollers.

“The whale is still alive and the Metropolitan Police are working to keep the public away from the water’s edge,” a spokesperson for the Port of London Authority, which owns and operates the lock, said.

The spokesperson also said that the whale became stranded at around 7 p.m. and was approximately three to four meters long.

Photos and videos on social media showed the whale being hosed down while a vet performed a check-up at the river’s edge before the RNLI arrived.

Fire crews and the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) also arrived at the scene to help in the rescue operation.

“It’s surprising that no one spotted the whale on its journey to Richmond Lock,” BDMLR National Coordinator Julia Cable told Sky News, adding it looked malnourished.

A crowd of about a hundred people gathered to witness the ongoing rescue operation.

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