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


2007-02-11 13:54:55

Well worth the climb?

Paula Gent (Coordinator) and I received a call from Mandy Macintyre at the SPCA, to say that a seal had been spotted on the beach over on the East Coast with a rope caught round its neck. We were met on site some 40mins later by an SPCA officer, who had tried to capture and free the seal from the rope, however was unable to. The seal was on the rocky beach down a cliff face with steps in place however bearing in mind the height there were some 200 steps I guess.

After the haul down the steps we spotted the seal pup with a thick mooring rope round its neck trailing a knotted length behind. The rope was quite frayed and as a result had also entangled its left fore flipper. The flipper was released first with ease, the rope to the neck was a different matter, it was like cutting a hundred smaller ropes from around its neck and to be honest the seal was not trying to help instead biting and snarling all the way. Finally the rope was released the seal was checked over and had quite an indent round its neck where the rope had been, however luckily the animals skin had not been cut, the only wound spotted was a puncture wound to the right tail flipper which looked very much like a bite. This was sprayed with an Antiseptic and as he didn't look badly underweight and well hydrated he was released after being pointed in the right direction.

The SPCA officer said he would check on the animal the following day to make sure it was not still in any difficulty. So now just the long climb up where Paula and I found out why we should take more exercise. However it was all worth it for the seal's sake....

Richard Bradley
Caithness Assistant Coordinator