Cetacean stranding is a common occurrence. Cetacea means large sea creature in Latin or sea monster in Greek, in this case a whale finds its way up the Tamar as far as the Lynher or St German’s River and the change in tide leaves it stranded. Whales are marine mammals but many can survive in freshwater. Reasons given for beaching may include disturbance from active military sonar.
This whale may have become stranded posthumously but some also die from dehydration or from internal organs being crushed under their own weight and others may even die from drowning if the rising tide covers the blowhole. The Natural History Museum has been recording stranded or beached cetaceans since 1913. In 1988 an outbreak of the phocine distemper virus caused the deaths of thousands of seals, which prompted a long standing programme to record the information on all cetaceans stranded or found dead around the UK. In 2000 several groups amalgamated into the UK Cetacean Strandings' Investigation Programme (CSIP).
The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.