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


2005-07-26 13:57:44

Seal rescue, Southend Adventure Island, Essex

At three thirty I received a call from Pier and Foreshore dept Southend on Sea, they are responsible for managing the Pier (still the longest pier in the world), the pier train and the seafront from Leigh on Sea through to the military range at Shoebury. The seafront here is several miles long and attracts many thousands of visitors this time of year. It is not unusual to see seals in the guts and creeks around the pier at low water, we have mostly common seals but we do see a few grey seals as well.

A member of the public alerted a beach Lifeguard that a small seal had hauled out onto a sea wall to the rear of Adventure Island (a thrill ride park) and did not appear to be moving away when approached by people. I arrived at 3:45 PM and met with the Foreshore Inspector, Lifeguard and member of the public that reported the seal. The seal was a little feisty but armed with a towel and the BDMLR knowledge I soon had it in the back of my 4x4. I attempted to inspect its mouth as it was clear it had an injury to the right side of his mouth, this proved a bit difficult but I could tell his teeth were all okay! It looked like deep lacerations to his upper and lower gums and some cuts and lacerations on his rear flippers probably due to being caught up in fishing line. As we were assessing the pup, I estimate it to be 4 to 6 weeks old, the Foreshore Inspector relayed a call in from an angler on the Pier that had reported a seal caught in his line at about 3 PM. The member of the public with us reported seeing two small seals one smaller than the little chap that had hauled out injured, swimming in from the direction of the pier at about that time. I washed the seals eyes out as they were a bit sandy and called BDMLR HQ and then RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Hospital, Sue White in BDMLR’s HQ confirmed with East Winch that the seal would need veterinary care when we arrived. I left at about 4:45 PM and arrived at 7:15 PM. The RSPCA staff at East Winch were great and saw to the seal immediately, I was gratified that he was trying to bite them as well, so I loaned them my towel!

They have called the seal 'Giraffe' and I got back home at 9:45 PM

Whilst there I found out that the pup we took in from Burnham on Crouch and they had called 'Impala' wasn't doing too well, she was on a drip and had a heart murmur...

Bob Archell
BDMLR Director

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