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


2010-02-24 11:24:53

Porpoise Rescue at Whitelink Bay

PorpoiseOn Saturday 21st February 2010 at 2.10pm I was sitting at my Grandmas, just having made a cup of tea and a pie from Downies (yum), when I received a text from BDMLR Head Quarters to say there was a reported live dolphin stranding on the beach between St Combs and Cairnbulg. I grabbed my bag and ran to my car leaving my tea but took my pie. I phoned Karen to say that I was 15 minutes away and put me down as en-route. I called a few medics on the way then Linda called to say that she was also en-route and I told her to meet me at the water board car park and we would take it from there. I got a call from Scott to say he was also on his way, I told him to meet us there also.

The roads were bad with the snow that we have had here but that was not going to stop me, got to St Combs at 2-30 pm and I was met by Linda at the same time. We had just started to get suited up when we were met by Scott, then we all walked along the beach looking at the shore line and a good walk along the beach, by this we were all roasting with all the clothes on.

Lying on the rocks we saw a porpoise just moving and we did not think it looked good, with the tide coming in and with the location of the porpoise we all agreed it would be best to move it off the rocks and just a few yards to a clear part of beach. She was in good body condition and at the time could not see any visible injuries. We gloved up and started to keep it wet with a bottle that Scott had in his bag. Then we tried to straighten her as she was slightly on her side then we noticed she had a few scrapes on her face and a deep one on her right flipper and she had either just given birth or was in the start of labour. We were met by a member of the coast guard who was local to St Combs.

We got a towel and manoeuvred her as little as possible so as not to stress her out and got her in the towel. Then the 3 of us grabbed a corner and moved her down a short distance to the clear part of the beach. We then dug holes for the flippers, put the towel in the water then covered her, we took turns in protecting the blow hole and going back and for forth for water then she started to come more to life and thrashing her tail.

I left Linda and Scott looking after her, because I was not getting a signal on the beach I went to the top of the dunes to phone Karen to give her a report, she said that Lawrence was on standby and I suggested that it would be best to get him here as depending on how bad the injury was it may be a PTS. Then the member of the public that called it in came over to say hi. I went back down to the beach to help when we were joined by an SSPCA inspector, I told him Lawrence was on his way and it may be a PTS depending on how bad the injury was underneath her, he took a look and said he thought it was a prolapsed womb.

We kept her wet and as calm as possible. I then went back to the top of the hill to phone Karen, she asked me to send pictures, because she wanted to send them to James Barnett, but I couldn’t get a proper signal . Karen sent me Lawrence’s mobile number and I gave him a call to give him directions but his signal cut off. I called him back and he said that he had been met by the coast guard and he would be there in 5 minutes. I was trying to send the pictures to Karen when another 2 coastguard members from Peterhead arrived, I gave them an update and they came down to the beach to offer assistance.

Lawrence was there by then and confirmed that it was a prolapsed womb and it would be a PTS. While he carried this out, we asked the coastguard to make sure the kids who had started to gather were kept well back, I phoned Karen and updated her. Lawrence confirmed it was a 5ft female and that Bob from SAC might want it. Karen was trying to contact them when the SSPCA driver said he could take it to SAC at Craibston for Bob to collect. The Coast Guard kindly gave us a bag to put her in and she was put in the back of Lawrence's jeep and they took it to his van. We thanked everyone for their help and walked back to the car.

Many thanks to Karen for the texts, and to Linda and Scott from the Buchan Team for their help, also to the member of the public who called it in, the Coastguards who came to help and the SSPCA and Lawrence for their assistance.

Stacey Esson
Buchan Team Medic