Ocean investigators are working in Portsmouth to establish how the Rorqual Whale which could weigh up to 180 tonnes became lodged on the bow of the Cote d’Ivoirian Star in the Solent on the 30th Dec 2019.
The coastguard were contacted by the crew onboard the Cote d’Ivoirian Star after hearing the impact in the channel,
The ship was then held for several hours just off the Isle of Wight before being escorted into Portsmouth where a team awaited for investigations to begin..
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said a counter-pollution team was monitoring the situation.
The Liberian-registered vessel, carrying a cargo of tropical fruit, was on its way from Senegal to Portsmouth.
James Robbins, from the University of Portsmouth, has studied whale collisions with ships. He stated “The Mammal could have become disorientated and found its way into the English Channel shipping lanes, or it may have been struck in the Bay of Biscay where whales are known to gather. Ship strike is massively under-reported. Many times crews of large ships might not know they have hit a whale,” he said.
“When an unfortunate thing like this happens, it’s a useful learning experience for all involved.”