On this project they received a call during a progress meeting with reports of a stranded 40ft humpback whale in Dunstaffnage Bay, which is just metres from the site and the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) Park. SAMS staff and students joined rescuers from British Diver Marine Life Rescue, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and HM Coastguard in monitoring the whale.
To monitor the animal the scientists deployed an acoustic device to listen for underwater sounds and also observed the whale’s breathing pattern. As a consequence of this we were asked to postpone a controlled explosion as part of our on site quarrying works as not to distress the mammal.
- Postponing an operation that had been planned for weeks in advance, which had an agreed finite time period to complete in-line with planning conditions.
- Informing all local residents of the delay to the procedure and agreeing alterations with planning/environmental health within a very short period of time.
The measures and results:
- The site team were able to make contact with the local authorities to agree the alteration and through a sequence of social media, phone calls and direct neighbour notification, the local public were informed also.
- Works were rescheduled as not to disturb the mammal
- The rising tide eventually freed the whale allowing it to swim out to sea.
Postponing blast operations allowed them to support the successful whale rescue, whilst also working with their stakeholders to reschedule the blast safely.