'Well done to everyone' - Team effort to save seal stranded on Essex coast
PUBLISHED: 21:58 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 07:40 11 August 2018
YANA HUMPHREYS/TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL
A sick seal which became stranded on a north Essex beach has been saved thanks to help from council staff and members of the public.
The struggling sea creature had been washed ashore on Wednesday at Jaywick Sands, near Clacton on Sea, where it had attracted unwanted attention from other animals.
Two beach-goers came to the rescue of the distressed young seal and stood guard for around three hours, working to protect it from dogs and seagulls until help could arrive.
Tendring District Council’s seafronts team had also been alerted to the situation by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) charity and headed down to assist.
Lauren Fraser from the council team is also a trained marine mammal medic.
She assessed the seal and realised it needed further medical treatment – rather than to be helped into the water. Ms Fraser safely restrained the animal until seal expert Tony Haggis arrived to transport the creature to a suitable veterinary clinic.
It is the third seal this week to have been rescued from a Tendring beach.
Mick Skeels, TDC cabinet member for leisure and tourism, including seafronts, praised the passers-by who stopped and helped as well as Ms Fraser and the seafronts team.
“I would like to say a big well done to everyone who helped make sure this seal will get the medical help it needs,” he said.
“We are blessed to have such a range of wildlife along the Tendring coastline, and such a large colony of seals in the Walton backwaters too.
“However, I would like to remind people that they should not approach a seal along our coastline – while they may look cute, they can give a nasty bite and pass on a number of diseases. If you see a seal which may be in distress then please alert us or a relevant authority, and keep your distance.
“I would praise the passers-by who stopped and did just that on this occasion, and warned others too.”
The BDMLR is dedicated to the rescue and well-being of marine animals in distress around the UK coastline.
People who find a stranded marine mammal are advised to note the location, state of the tide and any injuries, and to call the rescue hotline on 01825 765546.