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


2007-04-14 14:48:22

Sad Ending Grey Seal 'Rescue', Rattray Beach, Aberdeenshire

After last nights seal rescue from Rattray Beach, I couldn't believe it when at 19:00 my neighbour Pamela Duffell came knocking on my door telling me that there was another seal pup approx 500yrds away from where Nemo was rescued last night.

I grabbed my gear and off we went. I called Andy Ireland (BDMLR Buchan Coordinator) and got the team on stand-by in anticipation of what I might find. Pamela explained that she and her partner Kenny had watched this seal struggle up the beach. They didn't think it 'looked right'; hence she came and got me. It took us some time to get there as it was quite a hike from the car park, especially now the anti quad bike barriers are up. Just as we approached, Kenny, who had been left watching the pup and marking the point for our return in the fog, started heading towards us. "Don't tell me you let it swim away just as we got here?" asked Pamela. "No. It just died" said Kenny. Our hearts sank.

I approached the pup and gave it an examination anyway, just to check for any obvious trauma etc. The most noticeable thing was it was extremely emaciated. Its eyes and nose were clear, but it had froth around its mouth and its gums were incredibly pale.

Unfortunately, we can't save them all. In this case we never had the chance, but at least it died on the beach in natural surroundings.

I contacted Andy again to update him on the outcome and he contacted BDMLR On-Call, who contacted Mark Stevens (BDMLR Director) to get a decision as to whether or not we should uplift for a post-mortem in light of the circumstances. Andy got back to me and advised me to leave it as per the Directors decision.

So as it was, there was no rescue in this case, but there could have been and so thanks must still go to all involved, Pamela & Kenny for their prompt reporting, Andy Ireland (BDMLR Buchan Coordinator), Angi Long (BDMLR Buchan Medic).

Angi Long
BDMLR Buchan Medic