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

News

2005-08-27 16:01:24

Essex seal pup rescue

I have just got back from a seal pup rescue at Holland-on-Sea in Essex as below.

There I was enjoying a relaxing weight training session... just in the middle of a bench press when I got a call from Leon Woodrow (Essex Assistant Coordinator) at 11:51 regarding a seal pup, phoned in to the coastguard by some beach hut owners who thought that it looked to be in trouble.

I arrived at Holland Haven (Holland on Sea) to see the seal pup hauled out at the seaward end of one of the concrete groynes. The lady that had reported the pup said it had been there for over an hour and a half and had been able to approach within about 10 foot of the pup. Making a visual assessment of the pup it appeared to be slightly under weight, had some bleeding on its nose, and becoming agitated with the people around the groyne and on the beach.

As I approached the pup (slowly as the groyne was covered in lots of seaweed and slippery) it slid into the water. The seal was obviously fatigued as it made straight for the beach where it heard a couple of dogs barking and struggled back onto the groyne again. I made the decision that even although it appeared only to be a little under weight it would need to be picked up, if not to be rehydrated then to resite it away from the public. I spoke to Leon who by now was on his way with Roger (Assistant Nature Warden).

I let the seal rest for about 10 mins (had a cup of tea) and with the help of the lady who reported it, ventured sheepishly out on to the groyne.

The seal just laid there and once we were within a couple of feet, let us throw the towel over its head, once a firm grip was made we carried it back to the beach.

Leon was now on the prom where he assessed the temperature of the seal which appeared to be a little high. 200ml of zoolyte was also administered via tube by Leon.

As I write this Leon is on his way and Faye Archell (Essex Coordinator) is hopefully trying to get someone to meet him en-route for a transfer to East Winch (RSPCA - Norfolk Wildlife Hospital)... right back to the weights.

Andy Rutson-Edwards
Medic