HOPES are high for the fortunes of a porpoise which became trapped in the Sharpness dock tidal basin yesterday.

Geoff Dawe of Severn Area Rescue said it was most likely brought in by the morning tide

Lock gate staff spotted the aquatic mammal in the water, and noticed it had not managed to get out by the time the seaward lock gates were closed.

Mr Dawe said: "No one was on duty at the lifeboat station on the night tide as no shipping was due in the dock, so Mike went in and I joined him for safety reasons.

"Mike opened the lock gates and we watched the porpoise flipping up and down around the basin. It turned out to be, it is believed, a harbour porpoise.

"When the tide was close to high water it left the basin and went out into the estuary where it was free.

"Fingers crossed it will make it."

Mike Nash added: "To me it didn't seem stressed, it made the same actions all day, just swimming around.

"In the evening when I opened the entrance it stayed a while, but then we lost sight of it and assumed it had gone back out into the river.

"I stayed for a further 20 to 30 minutes and was then convinced it had gone, so hopefully all was well."