Rescuers free stranded whale in Thames

A team of rescuers were called in to save the whale at Richmond Lock and Weir in south-west London (Picture: Reuters/LNP)

A whale has been freed after marooning itself along the River Thames in south-west London.

Hundreds gathered at Richmond Lock and Weir on Sunday evening after the small whale, believed to be a Minke, became stuck on the lock’s boat rollers.

Footage showed the four-metre long animal getting hosed down by a man believed to be a Port of London Authority (PLA) staffer.

A vet then performed an emergency check-up at the river’s edge, before the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) arrived to the cheers of onlookers at around 9pm.

Fire crews were also at the scene, along with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue service.

Several hours later at about 1am, the whale was finally freed.

Picture taken with the permission from the twitter feed of Jake Manketo of members of the RNL arriving through the crowd after a small whale, believed to be a Minke whale, got stranded at Richmond Lock and Weir on Sunday along the River Thames in south-west London. Issue date: Sunday May 9, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story ANIMALS Whale. Photo credit should read: Jake Manketo/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Onlookers watch as the rescue mission carried on into the early hours on Sunday (Picture: PA)
The whale was finally freed by 1am this morning (Picture: Peter Manning/LNP)
The whale got stuck on the lock’s boat rollers (Picture: richardfrank.co.uk/LNP)
The Minke whale was hosed down to stop it drying out (Picture: PA)

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