British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue


2007-01-17 13:09:23

A rescue observed by a non BDMLR member

I was enjoying an afternoon off work when Ian my husband and mammal medic got a message that a seal he had seen the previous day was still in the same position on Hornsea beach and needed to be taken to the Sea Life centre at Scarborough. Ian suggested I go along for the ride and I agreed, a straightforward trip to collect the seal pup and onward to Scarborough.

Off we set, and as we approached the beach we received a phone call from Alan the regional co-ordinator informing us that Scarborough was full and could not accommodate our little seal pup. Whilst we waited for instructions we wrapped up against the snow and hail and headed down to where the pup was. She looked ok with no visible injury but did not want to go near the water. In the meantime Freddie Taylor, another medic, arrived with the Seal bag and Sue White from HQ rang to ask if we could take Sheila (as I called her - later to be renamed as Blow Torch by East Winch staff) to Swanland vets for a feed and a check over by the vet.

Of course we agreed and Ian put the pup into the seal bag and into the car and off we went. We drove to Swanland with the car heating off and the windows open arriving like 2 blocks of ice but at least Blow Torch seemed ok. The Vet and Nurses at Swanland were fantastic and warmed us up with a cup of coffee while the vet checked over our pup. Sue rang again and asked if we could take Blow Torch over the Humber Bridge to Lincoln. We of course agreed and I was by this time smitten with little Blow Torch and wanted to help Ian if I could.

We travelled through Lincoln at 5pm rush hour with Blow Torch in the boot of the car with the windows open and our bobble hats pulled down over frozen ears. We met Russell (another medic) at Holdingham and transferred Blow Torch over to him for onward transportation to East Winch RSPCA hospital. I blew her a kiss and wished her well as Russell drove off with her.

I wanted to write this piece to express my admiration for all the men and women who are prepared to do this kind of thing and think it nothing out of the ordinary. Also to Alan and Sue for their help along the way. Our trip to ‘Scarborough’ had turned into an epic but it was worth every minute.

It was really heart warming to see everyone working together to try and help little Blow Torch. It was certainly an afternoon I will never forget.

Sallie Shields
a very proud wife of a BDMLR medic Ian Shields

Sue has kindly informed us the pup is doing fine and a happy ending looks very likely.

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