Rescuers save whale stranded in the Thames

Rescuers have rescued a small minke whale stranded in the River Thames in London.
Rescuers have rescued a small minke whale stranded in the River Thames in London.

Rescuers have worked through the night to free a small whale stranded in the River Thames in southwest London.

The team of rescuers arrived at the scene near a lock in Richmond about 9pm on Sunday, shortly after the whale, believed to be a minke about three to four metres long, was first noticed.

A small crowd of people gathered to watch as the team worked to remove the whale from the lock, hosing the animal down, and then putting a large yellow float around it, video footage showed.

Nearly four hours later the whale was successfully moved to a safer location, the BBC reported.

The minke whale, a species commonly found in the North Atlantic Ocean, will be assessed by a vet to ensure it is healthy enough to be released, according to the BBC.

Their range extends from the ice edge in the Arctic during the summer to near the equator during winter.

Australian Associated Press