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


2009-01-14 13:27:10

Seal pup rescue

Seal pupI had three phone calls in around five minutes about a seal pup on the beach in front of the Yacht Club at Scrabster yesterday afternoon (13 January) which was said to be 'in distress', a term a lot of people use when calling however to be honest I am not sure what it means. Did my usual phone round for medics near the area after six calls, double that twelve as they all had mobiles, managed to get hold of Paula Gent who was on a day off and was able to turn out.

Bearing in mind she can almost see the beach from her house by the time I had my things in the car Paula called to say she was at the Yacht Club car park and could see a very thin weaned grey pup on the beach well above the tide line, told her I would be about five minutes and had already packed a Vari-Kennel just in case.

Arriving at Scrabster I spotted Paula keeping warm in her car being able to watch the pup at the same time very lucky on such a cold day. We didn’t even need to step onto the beach before we had the information we needed, from the car park we could see a fully weaned Grey Pup maybe three to four weeks old, with very pronounced pelvic bones showing and also a very visible neckline.

Called Jamie from the Highland Seal Hospital more luck he was shopping in Thurso so could we take it to Tesco's as by the time we had picked it up he would be finished with his shopping. I wonder how many seal pups have visited Tescos on their way to hospital I know I have transferred more than a few in their car parks, maybe if we pointed this out to Tesco's they could plan for seal holding pens as well as trolley parks when building new stores.

Within ten minutes we had the pup safely in the car, considering how thin it was still had quite a bit of life in it as it headed for and managed to park itself in a stream running down to the sea, well it couldn’t be all plain sailing now could it. As it was only two miles to Tescos the timing was just right got there to find Jamie’s van parked with him in it. Pup transferred...

From first call to transfer was less than forty-five minutes I would say that was the quickest seal pick-up I have ever been involved with.

Thanks to Paula for turning out on a cold afternoon, Jamie for doing his shopping at just the right time and all the people who phoned in to report the pup on the beach.

Richard Bradley
Caithness Area Coordinator