Shipwreck leads to false alarm call out over ‘whale in difficulty’ sighting

The wreck of the White Swan which sparked the whale false alarmPicture: Gorleston Coastguard Rescue

The wreck of the White Swan which sparked the whale false alarmPicture: Gorleston Coastguard Rescue Team - Credit: Archant

A Gorleston shipwreck sparked a Coastguard call after someone thought it was a whale that had got into difficulty off the coast.

High and dry: the collier White Swan aground on Gorleston beach in 1916.

High and dry: the collier White Swan aground on Gorleston beach in 1916. - Credit: Archant

Gorleston Coastguard Rescue Team were called out to investigate reports a sea-going mammal may have got into difficulties.

However the team soon discovered the “whale” was in fact the shipwreck of the White Swan cargo ship, which sank off Gorleston beach in 1916.

A statement on the Gorleston Coastguard team’s Facebook page said: “Team called out to investigate a reported sighting of a whale in difficulties. At scene spoke with the first informant and it was quickly established that what they were looking at was in fact part of the Swan wreck. A false alarm with good intent and quickly resolved.”

The call-out was received at 4pm on Thursday.


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The White Swan sank after a storm in November 1916 and its wreck has seen other false alarms made to the Coastguard.

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