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


2008-12-30 09:38:50

Roundup of Christmas period callouts in Cornwall

17 December
A grey seal was observed on Porthmeor beach, St Ives. It was in good condition but was being harassed by members of the public and dogs as this is a popular public beach, so was picked up and relocated somewhere nearby that was safer and quieter.

Later in the day a pup was reported to the National Seal Sanctuary at Mousehole. Medics found the pup and were on the phone to the Sanctuary about it when it decided to race off into the sea just as a decision was made to uplift it. Medics searched the area on three further occasions over the next couple of days following another report of it the next morning hauled out again, but it was never found.

22 December
As Coordinator Tim Bain tried to leave the County to visit his family back in London for Christmas, he was called out by the National Seal Sanctuary to a seal pup at St Ives. Upon investigation the pup was found to be in good health but was being disturbed by people and dogs, so it was observed and disturbance prevented until it decided to head off into the sea a short while later.

24 December
Medics/Cornwall Seal Group members Sue and Trevor Waterhouse spotted a seal pup entangled in a plastic bin bag at the bottom of a cliff in the St Ives Bay area. Several Medics attended but the pup had unfortunately been washed out to sea before any action could be taken. While the Medics were there a second pup in need of help was spotted on the same beach, this time caught in monofilament netting around its neck. Sadly this pup was also washed out by the incoming tide. Patrols by Medics and CSG members continued over the Christmas period for both animals but at time of writing they have not been seen again.

27 December
A pup was reported to the National Seal Sanctuary hauled out at Nanjizel, near Land’s End. Medics arrived and had to walk a long distance to reach the site, but managed to find the pup just as the tide was reaching it and darkness fell. The pup appeared fine, although with what appeared to be a net mark on its head near its jaw and right eye, but had not cut in to it. Due to the remote nature of the site and the dangers of the incoming tide and lack of light, Medics were forced to withdraw from the site before a full assessment could be completed. The next morning some more Medics visited the site but trails on the sand showed the pup had made its way down the beach as the tide had gone out during the early hours and had now gone.

29 December
Medic Rory Goodall contacted Coordinator Dave Jarvis regarding a friend of his that had spotted an adult seal near Sennen that apparently had some kind of injury on its back and had hauled out at the bottom of a cliff. Rory went out to assess the seal but it headed back into the water without difficulty, and after 'bottling' in the water nearby for a while, swam off without any obvious problems.

While Rory was out looking for the above seal, Dave and Medics Lesley and Dan Jarvis discovered an injured herring gull in their back garden. It was caught and quickly taken to Hayle Veterinary Surgery just down the road where it was euthanased due to a badly broken wing.

As soon as Dave and Dan returned from the vets, a call was received from the RSPCA regarding a pup at Bessy’s Cove, near Marazion. Dave, Lesley and Dan attended and found the pup to be in reasonable health, and after discussing it with the Animal Care Team at the National Seal Sanctuary, released it back on to the beach again.

Dave Jarvis
Director and Cornwall Area Coordinator
British Divers Marine Life Rescue