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


2011-11-24 12:10:28

Sammy the Viking rescued 100 miles offshore

Viking the Seal Pup
On Saturday the 19th of November Ali Jack received a phone call from Jill from the SSPCA stating that she had a problem with a grey seal pup. Jill explained that she had received a call from a ship to say that they had a tiny white coated seal pup that had climbed up onto their ROV Platform. When Ali asked Jill where the ship was she reported that it was over 100miles West of the Shetland Isles.

MV Sub-sea VikingAli took down all the details and gave the ship a call on their satellite phone. Ali spoke with a crewman on the Bridge of the MSV Subsea Viking, a vessel that operates ROV’s (Remotely Operated Vehicles) primarily for the Oil Industry, conducting work on the seabed. Ali asked the crew of the MSV Subsea Viking what the status of the pup was. They explained that they were 100 miles West of Shetland and that the pup had appeared in their ROV launching moon pool and climbed up onto the ROV launching platform. Unsure of the best course of action the crew had captured the seal pup when they lifted the ROV out of the water and thinking that the pup had become trapped in their moon pool, gently placed him back in the water over the side of the ship.

Viking on the ROV platformThe crew were then amazed to find that the little seal pup immediately swam back into the moon pool and tried to climb back onto their ROV platform. They lowered the platform into the water so that the pup could climb onto and the pup immediately fell asleep for several hours. Ali explained that the pup would be exhausted as they can not swim very well while they still had their white coat and that being 100 miles offshore that it would perish if they were not able to get the pup onboard the ship. The crew explained that they were confident that they could recover the pup again and that they would be sailing for Scrabster Harbour and would be there around 11pm.

Viking the seal pupThe crew expertly managed to capture the seal that they had now named Sammy and placed him in a modified equipment storage tub ready for his long journey back to the mainland, where Ali Jack, Martin & Michelle Boon & Mark Urquhart would be waiting to pick the pup up. Sammy was reported to have had a restful journey, sleeping most of the way back to Scrabster. The poor wee thing was exhausted and if the ship's crew had not rescued this pup when they did then it would have succumbed to its exhaustion and most likely have drowned.

Ali spoke periodically with the crew and tracked the vessel's progress on the marine traffic website and were ready and waiting at Scrabster for the vessels arrival at 11pm. Once the ship had docked the BDMLR team met the crew and were led onboard and were made to feel very welcome by everyone on board.

The team went to check on Sammy who was in good feisty spirits in his makeshiftBoonie tube-feeding Viking transport tub. The crew offered the team an evening meal and hot drinks whilst the pup was unloaded by crane. Once unloaded Sammy was taken back to BDMLR’s Highland Seal Hospital where it was renamed Viking in honour of the ship and crew that had managed to save its life.

BDMLR would like to pay special tribute to Subsea 7 and the Crew of the MSV Subsea Viking for going to the lengths that they did to save this little pup's life.

The kindness and affection that they showed for this little guy really touched at the hearts of the BDMLR Team and the staff at the Highland Seal Hospital………

…….. Maybe there is hope for humanity after all!

Ali Jack
BDMLR Director & Scottish National Organiser

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