Subject: Sperm whale:Rescue mission to save trapped (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Sun, 23 Mar 1997 18:13:16 -0500 (EST)

J. Michael Williamson
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
   Associate Professor-Science
   Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.734.8666, or 617.566.7369

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 97 17:40:00 GMT 
Subject: Rescue mission to save trapped

Rescue mission to save trapped whale

  By Jackie Brown, PA News
   A sea-borne rescue mission was expected to get under way later today to
a 40-foot sperm whale trapped in inshore waters - by the noise of traffic.
   The giant mammal, nicknamed Moby, is believed to have spent his second night
in the Firth of Forth after being frightened by noise from the Forth rail
and nearby rail bridge.
   A massive rescue operation is being planned for today - once it has been
established exactly where he is.
   Coastguards, police and Forth Navigation Service - which controls shipping
the river - were looking out for him this morning amid growing fears for his
safety in shallow water.
   A rescue mission is being planned which will be spearheaded by staff from
Deep-Sea World aquarium at North Queensferry on the banks of the Forth.
   Divers from the centre tried to help Moby when he beached near the centre on
Thursday night. Eventually he swam off - but went further up river instead
ofheading to the open sea.
   Four attempts to guide him down river yesterday failed.
   Three more sperm whales have been spotted off the Fife coast at Burntisland,
and wildlife experts believe they may be companions of the stranded whale
waiting for him to rejoin them.
   They are believed to have ended up in the Forth after taking a wrong turning
on their way south to the Azores from their Arctic feeding grounds.
   Keith Todd, curator of Deep-Sea World, said the last sighting of Moby had
at Grangemouth last night. He said it was possible he had gone under the
during the night, but unlikely.
   "We are trying to get a new sighting of him and liaising with BP to try and
get large tugs and other vessels to try and coax him down river using the
boats," said Mr Todd.
   He said it would be a difficult operation because of the tides and the
of boats that use the river.
   It is also expected to attract hundreds of sightseers to the banks of the
Forth as they try to get a glimpse of Moby - because it is so unusual to have a
sperm whale in such shallow water.
   But Mr Todd said people should stay away because the extra noise they made
could frighten Moby and hamper the operation.