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


2007-08-06 16:47:51

Seal and porpoise call-outs - Northwest, England

On sunday 5th August I recieved a call from Merseyside Police Quad Bikes to say they were in attendance at a seal stranding on Ainsdale Beach, I headed north from the beach I work on as a National Trust Warden, on route my Landrover was met by a Police Quad officer who guided me to the pup, much to the delight of the local press already on site, it suddenly became a police escort to emergency rescue. On arrival I found an underweight Common seal pup being contained in a large tarpaulin by a group of Sefton's Lifeguards. Because of its condition and the fact that it was on a busy tourist beach I decided it needed to be removed and placed it in a seal bag and took it back to my office to check it out. Its weight was 9k and it looked quite lethargic. I contacted BDMLR out of hours number and a place was arranged at Stapely Grange (RSPCA), so that night and the following morning I tubed it and Medic Rob Mathews drove it to the RSPCA at Stapely Grange. They at first only gave it a 50% chance due to an infection in its muzzle.

That evening Monday 6th of August I recieved a call from Trevor to say CoastGuards and Medic Stuart McCall were dealing with a young porpoise that had stranded at Lytham near Blackpool so after grabbing my gear I set out and picked up Medic Louise Mitchele on route, unfortunately as we were nearing Lytham we were informed it had died, it appeared it had been taken to deeper water earlier but had come back in and kept stranding. I met up up with Stuart and the Coastguard and collected the body of a young Porpoise that showed signs of muscle loss. I delivered it the following morning to Lea Hurst Vet College for autopsy. The North West is usually a quiet area but it was probably a mistake to tempt fate when a couple of days before I had emailed a new medic and told her that call-outs were luckily very few.

Dave Williams
BDMLR North West Coordinator