I had followed the activities of a friend who was a Marine Mammal Medic for a small charity, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, and saw her posts about rescuing seals who had become stranded on our North Eastern coastline. I was very keen to get involved, and decided to complete the Marine Mammal Medic course in Berwick in February 2019. It was a day long course, and I arrived to find a room full of other animal lovers, all desperate to get qualified and involved.
The course covered all aspects of marine life, including seals and whales, although it was the former I expected to be dealing with mainly. I learnt how to safely capture seals on the shore, but only baby seals as adult ones are far too big and aggressive to be handled. I qualified on the day, and went home full of excitement. I bought a second hand dog crate, some strong gloves and was set to go.
I have rescued several seals, taking them to our local vets for treatment, before they are transported to the local seal rescue centres where they are looked after until they are able to be released back into the sea. It is extremely rewarding, and I love the idea of helping something so vulnerable to regain a full life.