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


2007-10-07 15:41:02

Sizewell Seal Rescue

I received a call from Thames Coastguard about 8.45am telling me there was an apparently ill/injured seal on the beach at Sizewell, just below the Caravan Site. Deja-vu - this was the site of my very first call out in 2003!

I got my gear together and set off with my daughter Dilly who started ringing round other medics to attend or help with transport if needed.

We arrived about 50 minutes later and found the seal which was a Harbour (common). It was I estimated 6-8 weeks, bodily in moderate condition, in lifting I guessed around 16-18kg. It had a definite neck. It was bleeding from the nose and anus and had a small puncture wound on the front nearside shoulder, also some blood on the foreflippers although I could see no injury.

It was very definitely attentive and while towelling it I was given my first seal bite! 'Oh golly-gosh - that hurts please let go' I said quietly, although my daughter assures me it didn’t sound like that was what I said!

Moving on – still no joy raising any other medics (Sunday morning syndrome), so with Dilly undergoing onthejob training I set about a more thorough exam, taking its temp and tubing, for onward transport to East Winch (with whom I’d conferred).

With Karen (on call Co-ord) also having made some calls we eventually arranged with the RSPCA to undertake the transport job to East Winch, whilst I went to get my Tetanus booster and presented my 'seal bite' letter. Don't believe what you get told in training – it doesn’t get you seen any quicker!

East Winch have apparently called the seal Bramwell Bottom and early indications are it has lungworm.

Tony Wooderson
Asst Co-ordinator, Suffolk