Search

Killer shark fears as dead porpoise is found near Southwold

08:42 08 April 2011

Fourth dead porpoise found on Covehithe beach

Fourth dead porpoise found on Covehithe beach

Mike Baker

THE discovery of dead porpoises on the beach at Covehithe has fuelled speculation that sharks or a killer whale could be feeding off the east coast.

This week it emerged that the bodies of two porpoises with bite marks had been found washed up on the Norfolk coast at Horsey and neighbouring Winterton on consecutive days last month.

Yesterday, beachcombers came forward with photographs showing porpoises with similar injuries which were found at Covehithe and at Overstrand near Cromer.

All four of the bodies found were washed up within the space of about a month.

National shark expert Dr Ken Collins, who runs a shark-tagging programme at the University of Southampton, examined the image of the porpoise found at Covehithe by Mike Baker, from Lowestoft, and confirmed it appeared it had been bitten by a shark.

He said: “There is no obvious damage of the kind that occurs if a porpoise has been caught up in fishing gear.

“It is not clear whether it was killed by a shark or a shark was scavenging on a dead porpoise.”

Dr Collins, who had previously confirmed likely shark bite marks on the Horsey porpoise, said it would not have to be a large shark, as a porpoise was only the size of an alsatian.

However, he said it was perfectly feasible for a great white shark to be found in our waters, although he admitted that the possibility would be a “lightning strike”.

Mr Baker, 46, a painter and decorator of Essex Road, Lowestoft, said: “I often walk along the beach at Covehithe and when I did so back in February I had my camera with me.

“When I saw the porpoise I thought,’wow’, that has got bite marks and it looks pretty mutilated.

“I have seen a dead seal on the beach before but never a porpoise.”

The porpoise at Overstrand was found by Norwich shoe shop assistant Christina Evans, 58, who was with her partner Malcolm Reeve on the beach where they have a beach hut.

Ms Evans, who lives at Keswick Hall, near Norwich, said: “We often watch seals from our beach hut, but the sight of a porpoise was unusual.”

She said they took a photograph of it at the time, in February, but only realised something sinister might be happening when they read details of the story.

Mr Reeve, 58, a technician, said: “I don’t want to think about whether there is a shark out there because I like going swimming.”

However, naturalist Percy Trett, from Great Yarmouth, who writes for the The Journal’s sister paper the EDP, said he believed the attacks are more likely the work of a killer whale which could be found in the waters off Scotland and sometimes ventured into the southern North Sea.

1 comment

  • There was the front half of a medium sized seal washed up on the beach at Corton a week ago. It hadn't been dead that long but had been cut clean in half.

    Report this comment

    kevin bacon

    Friday, April 8, 2011

Other news

34 minutes ago

Suffolk police received more than 800 emergency calls during Storm Doris yesterday - up from its daily average of about 230.

55 minutes ago

A charity which provides free information and advice to people with disabilities in Waveney has issued an urgent appeal for funding.

A team that provides health and social care to people in their own homes in Lowestoft has been given a resounding vote of confidence by patients.

Popular radio presenter Rob Chandler will return to the airwaves, after loyal listeners were left disappointed when he left Radio Norwich earlier this year.

Most Read

A dash cam has captured the moment a car narrowly avoided being hit by a falling tree during Storm Doris.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:32

It is the end of an era as the landlords of a much-loved coastal town pub have called last orders for the final time.

Read more
Southwold
Yesterday, 17:41

Emergency services have been working to clear fallen trees from road across Lowestoft and Waveney as a result of Storm Doris.

Read more
Suffolk Police
Yesterday, 16:05

Storm Doris is causing disruption in Lowestoft and Waveney as high winds continue to batter the region.

Read more
Carlton Marshes
06:42

Communities across East Anglia will today begin a massive clear-up after Storm Doris caused chaos across the region.

Read more

Most Commented

A dash cam has captured the moment a car narrowly avoided being hit by a falling tree during Storm Doris.

Read more
06:42

Communities across East Anglia will today begin a massive clear-up after Storm Doris caused chaos across the region.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter