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


2007-02-04 13:44:54

A busy weekend

I was just finishing my marking at school when I received a phone call from a parent whose child, Conor Bemrose, is in my class. On their way home Conor had spotted a seal that was hauled out on the slipway near Bridlington Spar. Mrs Bemrose said she wasn't sure if there was anything wrong but would feel better if I could go and take a look. I quickly changed, called my assistant area co-ordinator to inform her of what was happening & set off.

On arriving at the scene I immediately realised that the pup was very thin with visible neck and pelvis and that it was going to be extremely difficult to bring in due to its close proximity to the edge of the slipway and a rising tide. I knew that if we weren't careful the pup would end up back in the sea which it had apparently just spent the last 2 hours trying to get out of. So I called a colleague from school, Bobbie Wilkie, who lives in Bridlington & while I waited for her I phoned Bev to give her an update and find out where the pup could be taken. Once Bobbie arrived I got between the sea and the pup and then slowly edged up the side of the slipway. Once I was in position Bobbie attempted to distract the pup as I jumped it. Considering it was not only in the most awkward position but also laid on the only pile of dog mess on the slipway, we managed really well! We quickly got the pup into the car & set off to Hull and Swanbridge vets.

On arrival, Fernando administered antibiotics, multivitamins, weighed & took the temperature of the pup and then gave it a feed of fish soup. Orbital Sander (the pup's new name!) was a female seal who weighed in at 14.9 kilos and had a slightly high temperature. As it was now late it was decided that she should stay over night at the vets & then be transported to East Winch the following morning. This was organised by Bev and Alan. Reports from East Winch are that Orbital is doing well, has gained a lot of weight & is a very lively inquisitive pup.

Sunday 4th February

I received a text on Sunday afternoon from Alan, my Regional Co-ordinator, about another pup. I rang straight back to say that I was available to take a look at the pup. Alan was just giving me the details of the pups location when Gary Bolton text to say he could also attend & would meet me there as he was out walking his dogs.

I set off to Flamborough with some apprehension as the last time I was there I had been unable to rescue an injured pup due to a fast rising tide. On returning the next day the pup had gone. It sounded like this pup was in exactly the same location, Thornwick Bay; however the tide was further out this time so at least that was on our side. On arriving I climbed down the never ending steps and quickly located the pup that was by now receiving quiet a lot of attention from the general public. The pup was in quite a poor state, obviously thin with discharge from its eyes and nose, a large lump on its side & a bloody mouth. It also had a horrendous smell!!!! I know seals can be smelly but this one was definitely the worst I have ever encountered!!

As soon as Gary arrived we made the decision that we would need to bring the pup in. Even with all its injuries (did I mention the smell?!) the seal was still quite feisty and wasn't the easiest of pups to jump (Well done Gary!). Once the pup was caught, we proceeded to climb the seemingly never ending steps up to the car park, whilst the pup christened the new seal bag, just to add to the already delightful fragrance which was filling the car. We phoned Alan, once we eventually got a signal, and he informed Sealife we were on our way. Holding on to my nose & with all the windows open as far as possible, I set off to Scarborough, gasping for breath with my head out of the window at every opportunity (much to Gary's amusement- as he followed behind!).

On arriving at Sealife, Helen admitted the pup who weighed in at 14.7 kilos & had a temperature of 39. The abscess has since been lanced and a course of antibiotics has been administered. The pup, named Hubba Bubba after the bright pink bubble gum, has since been moved into the large pool at Sealife with the other pups, including Space Dust who was admitted on January 13th.

Thanks to Mrs Bemrose and Conor Bemrose, Swanbridge Vets, Bev Drayton, Alan Stewart, Bobbie Wilkie, Gary Bolton and Sealife.

Tracy Guild
MMM Filey Yorkshire