A CARGO ship off the coast of the Isle of Wight was found to have a dead whale stuck on its bow.
The ship, an African Express Line container carrying bananas, had to wait off the Island for several hours yesterday morning before it was released to sail into Portsmouth Harbour.
The whale, still attached to the boat, will be brought ashore to be assessed.
Ben McInnes, Portsmouth International Port’s harbourmaster, said: “Yesterday morning, December 30, during a routine boarding of AEL’s Cote D’Ivorian Star, a regular cargo ship carrying fruit from Africa, pilot boat crew spotted an object on the bow of the vessel.
“On further inspection the object was sadly identified as a deceased whale.
“Fortunately this a rare incident, but can be quite complex and involves a number of agencies to help resolve.
“However, there was no ‘emergency’ declared on board and no distress call sent.
“The Maritime and Coastguard Agency was made aware of the situation and liaised with various agencies including the Counter Pollution Team, Receiver of Wreck, Portsmouth International Port, Queen’s Harbour Master, the ship’s owner and Environmental and Conservation Agencies.
“It is unclear where the incident occurred, or whether the whale had already died.
“The ship was released to sail into Portsmouth Harbour late afternoon.
“The whale will now be brought ashore so it can be assessed and taken care of.”