Cliff Top Seal Rescue



Net Entangled Grey Seal called "Ugg"

North Cornwall Juvenile Seal Cliff Top Rescue
Saturday night and BDMLR hotline Devon are alerted to the plight of a
Juvenile Grey Seal spotted at a North Cornwall haul out sight . Blue
netting was wrapped around the seal's neck and trailed limply along
its underside. This seal was a juvenile female taggie known to the
medics as a 2011 rehabilitation and release.
Sunday and a team of BDMLR Medics :Simon Bone, Phil Jarvis, Tim Baine,
Paddy Maher, Dave Jarvis, Lesely Jarvis, and Volunteer Climbers: Chris
Howell and Phil Knight all gather at the cliff top location and plan a
rescue of the entangled seal. After successfully descending the steep
cliff face,sadly as they approach across the seal laden beach, the
seal returns to the water at speed.
Monday... a second team are alerted to watch for the seal's return.
BDMLR Medics: Tim Baine,  Dave Jarvis, Chris and Annablle Lowe(Atlantic Diver Crew),
Climber Volunteer Phil Knight and Sam Stuart Volunteer Observer and

Grey Seals Haul out on Beach with Net Entangled Seal Eventually the seal returns and settles onto the haul out sight. It is
now evident that the blue netting has  further entangled and  involves
both fore is needed and fast. The team wait patiently
for the tide to drop back to allow more time for the cliff rescue team
to reach the seal BEFORE she has chance to make her escape into the
sea. Sadly as the team muster at the cliff top and with the aid of
members of the public who are observing quietly in support of the
team, the seals spook as two large bull seals rut together and most of
the seals charge into the sea again!! aaaarrrggg!!..
Tuesday...The team are deflated but hope is not lost and Sam Stuart
returns for a cliff side vigil...She is not sighted today.
Wednesday...a member of the public alert the Gweek Seal Sanctuary of a
blue netted seal at the same location....This time the netting is
completely wrapped down the neck, fore flippers and torso of the
helpless seal. She looks like a trussed up Sunday joint..sadhow very
sad!! Dave Jarvis is contacted who immediately pulls a team together
..BDMLR Medics: Dave Jarvis, Tim Baine, Chris and Annabelle Lowe
advance to the location with climbing kit at the ready.

BDMLR Medics Prepare Climbing Gear

Net Entangled Juvenile Seal resting on beach

Tide line is
in a good spot and seals are hauled out and gentlely snoozing in the
mid day sun. The decision is made to act fast and Tim Baine and Chris
Lowe rig up ready for the descent. Again members of the public are
engaged to help the rescue by keeping a low profile at the cliff top
and keeping all noise to a minimum.

Steep Cliff Face Descent

Marine Mammal Medics begin their descent

The medics slowly and quietly
begin the descent down the rugged cliff face. The seals sleep on
..oblivious to their false move may cause them to charge
to the sea again, so the Duo, armed with the experience of the
previous few days , move stealthily on..once on the beach , they hit
the ground, SAS style and crawl across the shaded section of the beach
behind the resting seals .

medics trying not to disturb seals

No one dares breathe at the cliff top as
they watch the team advance toward the oblivious seals
UNTIL...suddenly as they move out of the shadows the seals spot them
and charge to the sea..Tim and Chris chase in hot pursuit of the
nettie and clamber amongst adult bull, cows and juvie seals and launch
toward the stricken juvenile. SUCCESS as  Chris( our Skipper) picks his moment jumps
the seal...the seal wises up quickly and squirms out from under him,
but there is no escape as quick thinking Tim grabs her!
They pause for a few moments as they watch the remaining seals safely
pass them into the sea and then begin cutting away her manmade bonds.

Marine Mammal Medics pick there way through a group of Grey Seals

Chris jumps the ney entangled seal

Skipper Chris Lowe and Tim Baine ascend cliffCheers shout out and ecstatic tears fall from the cliff top viewers as
she is released , limbs free again . Well done to all concerned as she
lives to fight another day!smiley

About 3-5% of Grey Seals suffer some kind of net entanglement which cuts into their flesh, choking them until eventually they succome to infection, starvation and eventually death.getting involved in  Beach Cleans are a great way to help prevent this kind of disaster. Details of how to organise or take part in one of these in your area can be obtained during one of our Newquay Sea Safaris.


mass of blue netting finally cut off