British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue


2006-09-22 12:39:41

Georgie the Humber Humpback whale, a personal account

Just before 9.00 in the evening I received at text off Alan (Stewart) about a pilot whale in King George dock. OK, on my way not too far only in live Hornsea. I arrived at the docks just as Joel was ringing me and gave me directions and as I met up with him more help was arriving, we all moved on the river side road to find the whale on its front wedged between concrete pillars of the jetty and the slope leading down to the river from the road.

We set up ropes, gathered towels and sheets and buckets and headed down there, Alan, Joel, Freddie and Ian had dry suits on so were able to make an all round assessment and me and Catherine applied KY and water. The tide was leaving us quickly and the whale was now totally out of the water and we were struggling to get to the edge. Humber rescue set up a pump but it stressed the whale so the Fire Brigade set up their pump in the dock with a trail of hoses running down the slope to us.

Plans were put in to place and ideas bounced around on ways to refloat as the vets on site had said it was well enough for an attempt, although our safety came first and with a fast moving and rising tide any attempt was going to be very tricky. As more experts and vets arrived it was announced that the 'pilot' whale was a humpback whale which was odd to even the most amateur of us.

Alas with 4 hours till the high tide the whale nick named ‘Georgie’ died, which was heart breaking for every one involved. Although the decision was 'Georgie`s' and we did not have to make the hardest call of all. One last look at everyone to say goodbye and that was it. Vets checked it over to make sure and we all said our goodbyes back. We all did our very best and many thanks to Humber Rescue, ABP, Andy Smallwood and his fire crew, all the vets and all the medics .

An amazing experience to be so close to such a beautiful creature, and so sad to lose.

Adel Sheppard
BDMLR Marine Mammal Medic