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


2009-01-01 10:57:58

Seal pup rescue, Flamborough

Seal pupHoppy yew near to you all (no I have not had too much too drink but don't seals know its Christmas!!!).

I have been Out of Hours Coordinator over the festive (ha ha!!) period and it has been busy as well as eventful (anyone want a ferret? more of which later).

My phone started on Boxing Day, I won't list all the shouts but I have spoken to some very nice people the length and breadth of the country from West Sussex to Essex from Yorkshire to Caithness. We have had pups and adults, some have had to be lifted and some have been encouraged back to their homes and others have taken themselves back (thanks to the medics who went to assess and had long walks for nothing!).

I have attended three seal shouts myself, one when I came off night duty. The call came inlate the night before so I arranged to meet Bruce in Flamborough next morning to find a poorly little boy with blood all round his mouth so, as I was still in uniform, Bruce jumped the seal and I took him (the seal, not Bruce) to Sea Life in Scarborough (thanks guys again).

They gave him immediate attention and the update is he is progressing really well.The other seal I sent myself out to was also at Flamborough. This one was really healthy a fat little torpedo. The first informants were all fishermen so I apologise profusely when I encouraged the seal to go back into the sea as that probably finished their days fishing!

The third shout I sent myself to was one of those shouts that will remain etched in my memory for life (and I will probably bear the scars to proove it) Remember the ferretI received a phone call from the RSPCA to say a seal was in Hornsea but the first informant either gave an incorrect number or it was taken down wrong so the directions I got were rather vague.I went to ask another local Medic Marlene to assist bearing in mind Marlene has had a fall on the ice but I thought she would be an extra pair of eyes and could hold the torch (oh didn't I mention, the call came in at 19.20 and it was cold as well as dark).

Marlene was in her jammies so went upstairs to change. I heard her scream and came out of her bedroom minus her jammie bottoms which were wrapped round a ferret. We have no idea whose ferret it was or where it came from. I was stood at the bottom of the stairs and she dropped it onto the stairs (now if you could all imagine the Benny Hill music playing while this is going on you will see the farce this was becoming!).

I had a towel in my hand and I worked on the proviso that if you grabbed a ferret by the scruff of the neck it would subdue it (it works with my cats) and keep the biting end away from my fingers. Marlene rushed to get a cat basket and when I tried to lift it into the basket(you are ahead of me now are;nt you) the little devil bit me. I have never experienced anything as painful in my life it was gnawing on my thumb bone. I thought I was going to lose the top of my thumb. It then let go and dropped into the cat basket. Then the blood came lucky I am not squeamish.

But we still had the seal to find so off we went with my thumb throbbing and me vowing to give up seal rescuing as a hobby! We arrived at Hornsea and drove round the front concourse (and I reversed into a lamp post) eventually finding the seal six foot up from the beach on the concrete ramp, it must have used the wheel chair ramp or else seals have learnt to jump. It looked underweight so we took it to the vets for a more thorough examination and it is now in East WynchI. I went to the Docs and one injection and high doses of penicillin later the ferret saga has been put to bed. Ferret is in the hands of the RSPCA.

Lesley Salisbury
Yorkshire Medic and Out of Hours Coordinator