A humpback whale has been spotted in the River Thames.

Sightings of the animal were reported around Woolwich and Dagenham, east London, over the weekend and the British Divers Marine Life Rescue confirmed it was there on Sunday.

Julia Cable, national co-ordinator for the BDMLR, said: It seems to be doing fine.

We watched it doing normal diving and surfacing behaviour. It is surfacing once every five or six minutes, which is normal.

The whale was spotted by long-time sailor Richard Banner, who tweeted: In 50 years of sailing the river Thames first time I’ve met a whale there!

Humpback whales are sometimes seen off the British coast further north, but it’s unusual to see one within the Thames Estuary.

Ms Cable said it had probably made a navigational error.

In 2006, a northern bottlenose whale was spotted in the Thames in central London.

In 2009, a humpback whale was found washed up on the shore of the Thames in Kent, seemingly after dying from starvation.

Last year, a beluga whale, nicknamed Benny, was spotted swimming in the Thames near Gravesend. It is thought he made his own way back to sea in the new year.

Ms Cable said the Thames’ newest resident did not appear to be in any distress and it is hoped it will make its own way out.

(c) Sky News 2019: Humpback whale spotted in the River Thames