Rare sighting of whale off north coastline

A rare Fin Whale spotted off the north east coast. Picture by Steven Marsh.
A rare Fin Whale spotted off the north east coast. Picture by Steven Marsh.

A rare sighting of whale has been made off the north east coast.

The fin whale was spotted by the ORCA survey team on board the DFDS Seaways’ ferry, Princess Seaways, near Whitby as it saled from North Shields to Amsterdam.

They whales are more regularly seen in deeper waters, such as the Bay of Biscay.

The ORCA survey team on board was led by Brian Clasper, who along with Sophie Wild made the sighting 600m off the starboard side of the ship.

Brian said: “Sophie and I were on the starboard side of the bridge routinely scanning and about 600m away a fin whale rose to the surface appearing to try to log before it dived.

“We just looked at each other gobsmacked.’”

As well as the fin whale they saw six bottlenose dolphins, one white-beaked dolphin and three harbour porpoises.

The team are surveying in the North Sea as part of ORCA OceanWatch, an annual offshore study of whales, dolphin and porpoises seen around the UK.

Find out more about OceanWatch and other ferry, cruise, freight and naval vessels involved in the project visit www.orcaweb.org.uk/get-involved/OceanWatch