Feeds

Qinetiq named as nation mourns end of whale's flotation

Boffins, RN deny 'friendly-fire' depth-charging

Seven Steps to Software Security

Fate can be a dreadful thing. Gravy train... er, defence contractor Qinetiq is poised to float with uncountable squillions expected for all concerned, and - purely coincidentally - the marketing bunnies have been busy over the past year or twain enhancing the outfit's imagery as a purveyor of shiny high tech Q-type secret weaponry. But now - argh! - could it be planet-despoiling wildlife-terminating whale depth-charging Q-type weaponry?

And if the late Thames Whale was indeed depth-charged, then legal experts reckon that it was the Queen's whale at time of depth-charging. Cripes...

According to today's Times, sonar and "military explosions" may be to blame for disorientating London's best-loved marine mammal. Sonar (usually, the US Navy's sonar) is frequently accused of responsibility for whale beachings, so it's by no means unusual that it should figure in the nation's agonised inquest. But as culprits, "military explosions" are less usual.

The Times claims Kent coast residents and marine scientists have suggested that the whale could have been confused by "huge explosions" from a Qinetiq operated MoD site at Shoeburyness range last week. "On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week, it was like being in the middle of a war zone," said Herne Bay resident Tony Wilkinson, 65. And he's not even a whale.

And if the whale was the subject of military action, then it seems probable that this was a 'friendly fire' incident. The Guardian''s redoubtable legal correspondent Marcel Berlins tells us that live whales, under a statute of 1324, are classed as 'fishes royal', so are the Queen's property, if not quite family. Dead whales, Berlins continues, are the property of the Receiver of Wrecks, and this not being the usual protocol followed for royal funerals, we feel sure that the whale wasn't family.

Any explosions at Shoeburyness could not possibly have affected the whale, said a Qinetiq spokeswoman, describing the claims as "opportunistic" (much like this story, indeed). The Royal Navy also appears to be denying responsibility. Nevertheless, there should surely be a finquest. ®

* A public-spirited well wisher draws our attention to British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), which didn't quite succeed in saving the whale, but which did incur substantial costs, including a £300 parking fine, while trying. BDMLR is trying to recoup costs by auctioning the watering can used to douse the whale on eBay. The link above or an eBay search for "whale watering can" should see you alright. At least it's not the water...

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Apple: No, China. iPhone is NOT public enemy number 1
Beijing fears it could beam secrets back to America
Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!
How many As? Reg hack's writing cops a shoeing
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.