Hopes of saving the small whale that has become stranded along the River Thames for a second time are running out.
Hundreds of people had gathered at Richmond lock and weir in south-west London on Sunday after the whale, a minke between three and four metres long, became stuck on the lock’s boat rollers.
Videos showed it being hosed down by a man believed to be a Port of London authority (PLA) employee while a vet performed a checkup at the river’s edge, before the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) arrived at about 9pm. Fire crews were also at the scene, along with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue service.
Footage showed the whale finally being freed at about 1am, but it was spotted near Teddington lock just after 10.20am, heading downstream towards Chiswick and back towards Richmond.