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


2009-11-12 10:58:45

Two Seal Pups at Strangles Beach

Seal pupI received a call from Dave straight after another rescue at Hartland, about a seal at Strangles Beach. It was getting dark and very wet and the walk to the beach was on a very steep cliff, so we decided to postpone until the morning. The next morning I had a call from Mrs McDonald who had reported the seal the previous day saying it was still on the beach and had a lot of puss and mucous coming out of its nose. I told her I would be on my way and rang new medics Marilyn Smith, Fiona McCauley and Andy Crouch to assist. Just as I was leaving, Mrs McDonald called again to inform me that she was looking out for the pups mum whilst walking her dog, when she found another two seal pups. Sadly, one was already dead but the other one was lying still and was very weak near the water.

I rang everyone at that point as I knew the heavens were going to open very soon and that by the time I got both seals, the tide would be in fairly quick. I rang Dave back to come and help me as I only had one bag to carry them in as a cage would be too difficult down a steep cliff. On arrival I was met by Andy, Marilyn and Fee who were already geared up and ready to go, along with Mr McDonald and his wife who found the seals. Once on the beach Fee helped me lift the small pup into the seal bag, it was a tiny seal, thin but very fluffy. It had a few cuts and grazes and was very small. We found a large lobster pot lying on the beach and I thought it would be great used as a stretcher for the second pup. Marilyn and Andy helped me lift the bigger pup which had wedged itself under a rock. We had a brief monitor and check of the seal which had only just lost its umbilical cord and had lots of mucous coming out of its nose. Just before we took off, I got Andy to get a quick photo of the seal and then we all together headed off for a very long strenuous, steep climb up the cliff. After many stops and heart racing moments along with a few giggles we finally made it. We were so pleased you could not believe, and then it rained! Dave, Dan and Lesley arrived shortly after, and together we sexed the pups. Unfortunately one of the seals had a possible break to its lower jaw which had to be x-rayed once at West Hatch. Dan and I tubed the pups and took their temperature with the help of Andy and prepared them for their journey to Somerset.

Many thanks to Mr and Mrs McDonald for their help and dedication. Newly trained medics, Andy Crouch, Marilyn Smith and Fee McCauley. Couldn't have done it without you! Dave, Dan and Lesley Jarvis for their traveling and everyday help as always. Good job done everyone!

Michelle Robinson
Assistant Coordinator

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