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


2006-11-05 14:08:29

Castletown/Dunnet seal pup call out

I received a telephone call around 11 o'clock this morning from the BDMLRs Tony Woodley concerning a seal pup at Castletown, it had been reported to the local SSPCA by a member of the public. Tony had also contacted other medics, Sarah Henderson, Hannah Mainland, and David Sutherland and we all met up at the given location which was to the west of the harbour on the heritage trail.

When I arrived Sarah and Hannah were already there and David arrived at the same time as myself. The pup was a weaned grey seal pup, and was down on the rocks. When Hannah had arrived he was higher up on the beach, but had then moved down onto the rocks. It looked tired and initially moved away if anyone tried to get too close, but I was able to get close while it was asleep for photos. I contacted our co-ordinator Paula Gent, who advised us to take photos and send them to her.

Sarah and myself both had photos and went home around 12 o'clock to send them to Paula, who would then send them to Tony and Jamie Dyer.

Hannah went home and David stayed to observe the pup and I organised to go back out to David at 1.15 pm.

While at home Paula phoned to say that the pup was underweight and would have to be lifted as soon as possible, but she had phoned David beforehand and found out that the pup had gone back into the water. I headed back out to Castletown and Paula was going to organise the kennel and meet us out there. David was seeing 2 Grey seals in the water, but they appeared to be adults.

Just before 2 o'clock Paula phoned to say that she had received another telephone call from a gentleman near the Ranger centre at Dunnet beach, and that she was going straight there.

Dunnet beach and Castletown are joined, and the 2 locations of the pups were approximately 3 km apart. Was this the same pup?

David and myself decided to go over and meet up with the rest of the team heading to Dunnet. Once there we met Paula, Davey Benson, medic Jim Thomson and the gentleman who had phoned in concerning the pup at Dunnet. We all headed down to the pup who was at the edge of the water, and it was the same pup as it had the same face markings and a brown mark on its side. He was a weaned male pup who was underweight and was not exactly happy about having us all around him, but Jim managed to get him under the towel and with the help of Davey safely into the kennel. He was then put into Jims vehicle and taken to Skarfskerry, where arrangements had been made for Mike Salter to tube feed him fluids. Once fed fluids Paula made the arrangements for him to be transported to Oban, and Jim kindly volunteered to take him down.

If everything goes well this will be the teams second successful rescue this week and is a big boost to the team.

A big thank you to all involved, the 2 members of public who kindly phoned with regards to the pup, Jimmy Gunn at the SSPCA centre for forwarding the call, Tony for getting in touch with us and being on the phone for advice, Jamie for advice, medics Sarah, Hannah, David, for their assistance, medic Jim for everything especially transporting the pup south, Mike Salter for kindly giving the pup fluids and our great co-ordinator Paula and her partner Davy for making sure we were well organised, and insuring everything ran smoothly. Can I finally thank Jamie for taking the pup and wish them all the best in looking after him.

Karen Munro

Update : 22.20hrs - Natalie has met Jamie at Fort William where he has checked the pup over. He estimates the pup weighs no more than 12kg and has half a dozen scratches/abrasions over his body.

Can I just add to the above that Tony helped with the transport arrangements by getting hold of the Inverness area coordinator Natalie Simmons and a big thank you to her too for the middle leg of the relay from Evanton to Fort William where Jamie picked up the pup from Natalie.

Again a very big thank you to all involved at every stage of the way :) i am proud of you all :)

Paula Gent
Caithness Coordinator