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


2006-04-12 13:47:51

Seal rescue, Skeffling, East Yorkshire

Received a text from Bev Drayton (Area Coordinator – NE) with reports of a seal looking in fairly poor condition on mud flats.

Responded from work, speaking en route to Sandra Dovey (member of the public) who'd reported it. The seal was 1.5 miles from the nearest road – isn't that always the case?!

Arrived on site where I was met by Sandra and easily located the seal which was on top of mud furrows but extremely well camouflaged in the brush that covered most of the surface. Ingeniously Sandra had marked the site with a large stick with plastic bag tied to it!

It appeared relatively subdued, with lacerations down one side and a severe eye ulceration of some depth. Tested its reflexes by touching its tail and after it'd whirled round and almost taken my hand off, presumed it was ok in this department ;-) Texted a couple of pictures to Bev who confirmed it would have to come in.

Luckily we were able to gain car access to a grass track leading to the seal, after having done a fair amount of ringing round to ascertain who had the key to the gate that barred our way. Local estate agent Charlie Hill finally came to our rescue.

Drove to site and put the seal into the cage (easier said than done!) and between us carried/dragged it back up the beach and embankment into the car.

Transported it to Swanbridge Veterinary Hospital who gave it fluids and relevant injections to help it cope better with the journey ahead. Rendezvoused with Alan (RSPCA ACO) on the south side of the Humber Bridge who took it the rest of the way to RSPCA East Winch.

Many Thanks to:

Bev for reassuring me during my first actual capture! Sandra who had been on site since 09:00 hrs and who was an absolute star throughout! Alan, RSPCA (sorry didn’t catch your last name) for the vast majority of the transportation Paul, Swanbridge Veterinary Hospital, for treating the seal (and recently castrating my guinea pigs ;-) East Riding of Yorkshire Council and The Environment Agency for trying to source a gate key! Charlie Hill for actually gaining us access to the site with a key!

Helluv an example of how many organisations and individuals are prepared to pull out the stops to potentially save an animal’s life J

Alan Stewart
MMM North East