Were whales spotted off Lowestoft coast same group as those seen near Essex?

A humpback whale pictured in Mass, America

A humpback whale pictured in Mass, America - Credit: Archant

Visitors and residents have described the 'absolutely amazing' sight of whales off the Lowestoft coastline – but it is not known if they are the same ones later spotted further south around Essex.

humpback whale

humpback whale

The creatures were reportedly first spotted near Claremont Pier in the town on Saturday, November 15.

There were then further reported sightings in Lowestoft on Sunday and Monday.

On Tuesday a pod of around 40 pilot whales were photographed between Jaywick and Brightlingsea, with efforts made by Essex Police's marine unit to try and direct them towards deeper water.

Julia Cable, from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), said it was entirely possible that the group seen at Lowestoft is the same as the one seen in Essex. 'Pilot whales can travel really huge distances,' she explained.


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However, she also said it was possible there could be two separate groups and that the BDMLR would need photographs of the whales in Lowestoft to ascertain whether they are the same as the ones seen in Essex.

'We know for sure that one group is believed to have been seen off Sheerness in Kent on Sunday until the evening. Then we don't know where they went. It's possible they went to Lowestoft and then went back.'

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If the whales seen in Lowestoft were pilot whales, it is unusual for them to be seen so far south – they are normally seen in the oceans around Scotland.

Doreen Driscoll, of Eastwood Avenue, Lowestoft, described seeing the whales as 'absolutely amazing'.

The 69-year-old added: 'You'd expect to see them abroad but not quite off the beach in Lowestoft. I was taken aback and just stood there watching.'

Claremont Pier owner David Scott said that although he had not personally seen the whales, there had been much talk about the sightings and that people had been coming down to the shore to try and catch a glimpse.

Last month there were reports of a humpback whale near RSPB Minsmere in Suffolk, although those at the reserve had been unable to identify the person making the reports and could not therefore determine how credible they were. There has also been another sighting of a humpback whale at Minsmere a year earlier.

Have you seen the whales? Do you have any video or photos? Contact EDP Lowestoft community editor Andrew Papworth on 01502 525825 or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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