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


2009-12-08 10:10:46

Seal Rescue Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire

Seal pupAs I stood in the queue at the bank at 13:20 a text came through from HQ requesting somebody to check on a seal at Fraserburgh. Since the bank is in Fraserburgh I was only 5 minutes away from the seal, whichever beach/rocks it was on.

The seal had been reported as being at the bottom of Tiger Hill. Past experiences led me to think that this meant anywhere along a 2mile stretch of beach between Fraserburgh Esplanade and the Waters of Philorth. However, as soon as I got to the foot of tiger hill (a very large sand dune), the seal pup was exactly where the member of public had said it would be. At this point I would like to thank that member of public for being so accurate.

The pup was way above the high tide mark and actually in among the dunes. It was only partially moulted and appeared to be slightly under weight. There were no obvious injuries or ailments. The area is very popular with dog walkers and I spoke to several curious walkers who all had very well behaved dogs and had all put them on their leads. Another huge thank you to the public at this stage. Talking to the dog walkers, I found out that the pup had been in this location since at least 09:00 (possibly earlier) but had definitely not been there the day before.

My phone was playing up and not sending the photos to HQ so HQ advised that I phone Jamie Dyer at the seal hospital and speak to him direct. After discussing the pups condition with Jamie, it was decided that since the pup was not fully moulted and therefore not fully weaned nor was there any sign of any other seals on the beach or in the water, that the pup should be taken to the Wildlife Hospital at New Deer. I called Vet Lawrence Brain and arranged a pen for the pup.

Since I had been in the bank when the call came through and I am currently driving a hire car, I had no rescue kit with me. Several calls / texts were made by myself and Andy Ireland to various other members of the Buchan team asking for help with the uplift. I had an offer of help from Medic Colin McFadden who was an hour away, so I had him on standby. Medic Elaine Helyer, who was just 20 minutes away responded and came out with her tub, some towels and gloves. Between us we lifted the pup at approx 15:40 and I headed off to New Deer with it. Before leaving we had one major task left - Pick a name. We chose Tiger-Lily as she was at the bottom of Tiger Hill.

I would like to thank all who were involved in the rescue of Tiger-Lily (who I hope after a few good feeds can soon be released again). Thanks go to Steven (member of public) for reporting so accurately where the seal was. BDMLR HQ, Jamie Dyer (BDMLR Scottish Co-ordinator & Seal Hospital Manager), Andy Ireland (BDMLR Buchan Coordinator), Elaine Helyer (BDMLR Buchan Medic), Colin McFadden (BDMLR Aberdeen Medic) and all the public that, in turn, kept me company for a few hours on a very cold NE Scotland beach.

Angela Long
BDMLR Buchan Medic