FREE GoGoDragon! stickers in today's EDP and Evening News!

Click here

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

Yesterday, 17:12
The dinghy being brought back into Lowestoft by the RNLI Lifeboat, Patsy Knight. Picture: MICK HOWES

A man in his 50s, who was fishing at sea off Kessingland, had to be rescued and treated by the emergency services after “going in and out of consciousness”.

Yesterday, 15:42
Lowestoft train station.

A second Lowestoft to Ipswich train service has been cancelled today.

Yesterday, 12:49

A dog owner has been left devastated after her beloved cocker spaniel died in an apparent poisoning.

Yesterday, 11:41
Loans could be offered to attract teachers to the region

Interest-free loans could be used to encourage more teachers to move to Norfolk, as a campaign to tackle the county’s recruitment crisis moves into its next stage.

Most Read

Fri, 17:33
Christopher Randall

A 40-year-old man has been jailed for 12 years for raping a young girl.

Read more
Suffolk Police
Yesterday, 12:49

A dog owner has been left devastated after her beloved cocker spaniel died in an apparent poisoning.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:02
A helicopter is called to assist with the rescue of a boy from the sea near Corton. Picture: HM Lowestoft and Southwold Coastguard.

Rescue workers were hailed as heroes today after two lives were saved in dramatic incidents in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Read more
James Paget University Hospital
Fri, 06:30
Lowestoft company Polgain who is looking to expand into premises where AKD Engineering was based in Lowestoft. Jonathan Patterson, Adrian Bond and Peter Colby.  Picture: James Bass

It was a blow to the town that resulted in 113 people losing their jobs.

Read more
Peter Colby
Friday, August 3, 2012
Arriving for the wedding

A WEDDING is always a special day for the father of the bride.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 18°C

Digital Edition

Read the Lowestoft Journal e-edition today E-edition