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


2009-07-20 17:31:54

Surprise Pup Rescue on Winter Haul Out Beach

Myrtle the seal pupA chance early morning visit to the local Winter haul out beach near Godrevy, by medic Sue Sayer, was the starting point for another rescue situation. Although not used by the seals during the Summer months, as Sue passed she noticed a series of haul out trails and when she investigated further, located a small seal a the far end of the cove, which had a mass of monofilament net around its neck. Sue immediately sent a text message to both Area Co-ordinator Dave Jarvis and medic Dan Jarvis to alert them to the situation.

It was only just 08.00, but Dave was already out and about, so whilst he collected Area Co-ordinator Tim Bain, Dan gathered equipment and contacted other members of the rescue team. By 08.30 Dan had joined Sue at the scene and confirmed the situation and that because of tidal and weather conditions a rescue attempt would be possible. Dave and Tim arrived just after 09.00 together with medics Becci Taylor, Rob and Jenny Gray, Sue and Trevor Waterhouse and Simon Bone together with climbers Chris and Phil, who had come to assist with the ropework to access the beach. Within half an hour the team of Tim, Dan and Rob were descending the cove, assisted by Chris and Phil.

The seal was alert and appeared to be aware that its private beach was being invaded, but then began to dose off, giving the team the chance it needed to get down and for Tim and Dan to impersonate seals making their way across the beach, but once they got within 50 yards the pup realised that there was a 'problem'. It suddenly tried to make a dash for the sea, but Dan was too quick for it and managed to stop its progress just long enough for Tim to restrain it. Rob quickly joined them and removed the net. It was decided that the wound was severe and the pup small enough for it to be taken in for rehabilitation. The pup was placed into a seal bag and with difficulty brought up from the cove and following an initial examination, taken to the National Seal Sanctuary.

For further pictures of the incident go to

Dave Jarvis
Director and Cornwall Area Co-ordinator
British Divers Marine Life Rescue