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


2006-04-21 14:01:44

Seaford Dolphin Incident

HM Coastguard received several 999 calls concerning a dolphin in distress in the surf on Seaford Beach. Newhaven Coastguard attended as well as local BDMLR medics, Director Alan Knight and myself.

Medic Alec Anscombe was the first on the site and reported back that the dolphin was surfacing on a regular basis but had been reported as surfacing roling on one side and sinking.

Alan and I arrived shortly after to find a crowd had gathered on the beach. Via the Coastguard we requested Newhaven Lifeboat to assist in assessing the dolphins condition. They launched their D class lifeboat and then collected medic Stephen Marsh and I from the beach in their small rib launched off the back of the lifeboat which kept its distance.

Stephen and I spent over an hour at sea slowly approaching the dolphin and watching its condition. We are about 90% sure it is a bottlenose dolphin. It has a distinct yellowishwhite circular patch on the left side of its dorsal find and Stephen notice s similar mark lower down on the right side of the dorsal fin - not sure what this is.

I managed to get a good view down its back and the lumber muscle was in a moderate to good condition. Alan has taken some photos from the beach to help with identifying the animal again.

We are sure this dolphin is happy and is feeding and therefore we returned to shore and will keep observation for a while to ensure nothing drastic changes.

We hope that this creatures does not become terrorised by boats or people wanting to chase or swim with it over what is expected to be a good weather weekend.

Trevor Weeks
National Co-ordinator