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


2007-08-11 16:52:03

Common seal pup on Whitby Beach

Around teatime, BDMLR HQ called and asked if I could attend a seal pup on Whitby Beach. Whilst enroute I informed the Beach Patrol to keep a look out. The Beach Patrol contacted me whilst still enroute to say that they saw a man and a dog chase it back in to the sea.

Saturday 11 August 2007

  • 08.10 A member of the public informed me that a seal pup was on the beach.
  • 08.15 I arrived on scene but was unable to find the pup, I spoke to a couple who advised me that a man had grabbed the seal by its tail and had dragged it back in to the sea.
  • 12.15 I received a call from the Lifeguards to say that a seal pup was on the beach nr Upgang and was surrounded by people.
  • 12.30 I arrived back on scene, the beach was packed with people and dogs (around 300-400 people and over a dozen dogs). The pup was alert but thin, with no visible wounds or discharge. Breathing seemed erratic.
  • 12.40 With the incoming tide, no sign of mum, erratic breathing and the amount of people and dogs I decided to remove the pup for it's own safety. Once I started to leave the area an adult seal appeared behind the surfline, I contacted the Assistant Co-ordinator Bev Drayton at Scarborough for advice. Bev advised me to try and get it back in to the water near mum. I immediately released the pup and monitored the shoreline.
  • 13.55 I saw the pup swimming along with mum.
  • 16.58 I received another call from the Beach Patrol/Lifeguards to say that a pup was on the beach under the sea wall.
  • 18.00 I arrived back at the beach to find the pup trying to sleep. I monitored the breathing rate and maintained crowd control, trying to keep kids and dogs away. At one point the police came on to the beach to remove some youths that were drinking alcohol.
  • 20.00 I contacted Bev Drayton to see if we could get another medic down to the beach for a second opinion. The pups breathing was still erratic and now seemed to be trembling.
  • 22.00 Whitby Medic Don Crank arrived to take over and I was advised that Gary Bolton an experienced medic from Scarborough was on his way.
  • 23.00 I received a call from Gary Bolton who said that they were going to uplift the pup and take to a local vets to be checked over.

The pup which was named 'HOLT' was relayed the next day to RSPCA Wildlife Centre at East Winch.

I'm a new medic and this was my second call out to a Common pup in two weeks. I would like to thank Gary Bolton, Bev Drayton, Don Crank, Freddie & Joel Taylor & Russell New for their advice and support. And my wife Ann who stayed with me all day monitoring the pup.

Gary Pearson
Whitby and Teeside Medic

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