Three whales found dead on a beach may have fallen victim to stress after they “got lost”, according to a marine expert.
The 48ft-long animals have been washed up on a beach in Skegness during the weekend.
A team from Humber Coastguard station cordoned off the area at Gibraltar Point as crowds of people came to see the whales which will be removed by East Lindsey District Council once tests have been carried out on the mammals.
Another whale was found on Hunstanton beach on Friday night.
Sam Rees, of Skegness Aquarium, said: “It’s a very unusual situation and one we don’t really find happening so close to each other.
“The general consensus is that it’s a pod (group of whales) that has got lost and they’ve become unstuck through stress meaning that, unfortunately, they have beached themselves.”
Coastguard teams are on alert after the prospect was raised of more sperm whales being washed.
A Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) spokesman said the whales were believed to be from the same pod or group as the whale found dead on Hunstanton beach.
The MCA spokesman said: “HM Coastguard are advising members of the public to stay away from three dead sperm whales that washed up on the beach near Skegness.
“A Nature Reserve Warden in the area alerted HM Coastguard when he found two dead sperm whales, approximately 48ft in length, and a third dead whale has been found washed up this morning.
“The whales are believed to be from the same pod as the whale that died on Hunstanton beach on 22 January and it is unknown where the rest of the pod are at this stage.
“Members of the public are being advised by HM Coastguard to stay away from the three whales whilst they remain on the beach.”
Richard Johnson of UK Coastguard said: “We believe that the three whales at Skegness died at sea and then washed ashore."