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


2006-08-04 11:31:47

Busy Day for Scottish Medics


10.00hrs - The team were notified of a seal pup hauled out within our patrol area. Medics Willie Taylor and Rab Quinn responded to the call reporting back that the pup was a common approx 1.5ft in length and still dependant on its mother and that it had been chased into the sea by a dog. 12.00hrs we are notified again that the pup is now further South within our patrol area and is an incredible distance away from the sea in a very unusual place! (location withheld in a bid to keep these seals from harm). Medics Willie Taylor and Rab Quinn assisted by Sue and Paul Horne kept vigil within the area, keeping the pup safe until the flow tide which was due in at 16.35hrs, and noting whilst keeping watch over the pup that its mother was present within the area. We are happy to report that the pup named (Suzi) rejoined its mother at 16.45hrs of its own accord once the tide had turned. Whilst making their way off the beach, the Medics came across an injured fledgling guillemot, which they were able to retrieve for taking to The Grampian Wildlife Rescue Trust. Thanks to Medics Willie Taylor, Rab Quinn, Sue Horne, Paul Horne, SSPCA Inspector Mark Lumgair, SSPCA Controls Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire for liaising with us and to David and Suzi Jones for notifying us of the pups whereabouts, and to BDMLR Co-ordinator Elaine Roft for communications throughout. Meantime, whilst all the above was happening, Medic Jacque Watt had responded to 2 calls between 17.00 – 19.00hrs to 2 injured herring gulls at different locations. Both were uplifted by Jacque and taken to overnight facilities to join the rescued guillemot fledgling that was retrieved earlier in the day.

22.00hrs - 02.30hrs Elaine received a call from Aberdeenshire Co-ordinator Nick Duthie to say that members of the public had called him in relation to an adult seal within our patrol area that was requiring help after finding itself in a “predicament”. A response team of Medics consisting of Elaine Roft, Bob Pert, Rab Quinn, Willie Taylor, Peter Taylor and volunteers John Roft and Norman Mundie made their way to the scene. Because of the nature of the rescue operation involved, which was going to take some time into the early hours of the morning, local Wildlife Liaison Officer and Tayside Police Central Control were informed of our whereabouts and the nature of the rescue involved which was given authorisation by both WLO Alan Stewart and Sgt McInally. Drew from Central Control was updated on the situation at regular intervals due to the risk levels to the Medics from the fading light, the nature of the rescue, and the fact that mobile signals were of poor reception. The issue involving the adult seal was resolved at approximately 02.00hrs with the Medics departing from the scene at 02.30hrs. Due to the nature of this call, location and trauma to seal have been withheld. Thanks to Medics Elaine Roft, Bob Pert, Willie Taylor, Peter Taylor, Rab Quinn, and Volunteers John Roft and Norman Mundie. Wildlife Liaison Officer Alan Stewart, Tayside Police Central Control (Drew), Aberdeenshire Co-ordinator Nick Duthie, BDMLR Director Alan Knight. (Medics pictured left to right, Bob Pert, Willie Taylor, Peter Taylor, Rab Quinn, Elaine Roft) absent from picture Norman Mundie and John Roft) Taken at 02.30hrs after the rescue mission was resolved.


10.30hrs After a successful night in temporary accommodation, all 3 rescued birds were uplifted from their pens and relayed by Medic Willie Taylor and Volunteer Norman Mundie to Bridge of Don. The second stage of the relay to Grampian Wildlife Trust was taken over by Fraserburgh Volunteer Elaine Helyer. The birds arrived at The Grampian Wildlife Trust at 12.30hrs where they were received by the Veterinary staff.

17.00hrs Elaine received a call from Veterinary Surgeon Laurence Brain (Grampian Wildlife Trust) saying that sadly, the guillemot fledgling was pronounced dead on arrival and the 2 herring gulls had to be euthanased after examination. Laurence expressed his concerns to Elaine and said that all the birds were at the time of uplift suffering from botulism, in the case of all the birds that were uplifted, the worst strain that they had been exposed too. All cages and carriers were thoroughly disinfected with virkon and local RSPB informed. There are currently high levels (class 2) of nitrate present within our area, SEPA are aware of this, and there is a possibility that with the increased warmer temperatures, algae blooms and the birds frequenting sewage outlets this has been detrimental to the birds catching this potentially high risk strain.

Elaine Roft
Montrose/Arbroath Area Co-ordinator