From Battersea Bridge


In January 2006 a 18 foot northern bottle nosed whale swam up the Thames as far as Battersea and sparked a rescue effort on the 21 st of January by volunteer teams of marine life rescue divers <website>, fire brigade and police, under blanket TV coverage . At low tide the beached whale was surrounded by an inflatable pontoon and floated off on the rising tide. Two rigid inflatables then moved it downstream to a waiting barge,  where it was winched on board. The whole operation appeared smooth and efficient and as the PLA's "Crossness" steamed at full speed towards the open sea near the North Foreland, likely to be successful. Wildlife experts, however, warned of the risks involved, perhaps preparing the watching public for bad news, which came at 7 pm when the whale suddenly deteriorated and died. (The cause was later established as dehydration and kidney failure).

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