Tangled seal rescued in evening rescue on Norfolk beach

A seal was rescued just in time after a fishing net wrapped around its neck.

Volunteers with the seal welfare charity Friends of Horsey Seals managed to save the injured seal before it got too dark on Monday night.

The net was safely removed and the wounds were treated before the seal was released into the sea.


Sally Butler managed to save the seal from Eccles beach before it got too dark
– Credit: Julie Sisson

Rescue volunteer Sally Butler, 57, from Eccles, said: “We were first called to Bacton around 1pm, but unfortunately the seal had returned to the sea. We were called by a walker of dogs just before dusk and managed to locate the seal at Eccles Beach.

“We know the location very well, but it was getting dark which made visibility difficult.”


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Miss Butler and her partner Julie Sisson, 47, also from Eccles, managed to find the seal just before 6 p.m.


Friends of Horsey Seals rescue seal from Norfolk beach

The seal was caught in the net quickly before escaping into the sea.
– Credit: Julie Sisson

“We can’t do a rescue in the dark because we also have to ensure our own safety. Fortunately, we had just enough light to spot him. Because he was so close to the water’s edge, we did. got in the net as quickly as possible.

“Getting the net off her neck took a long time because it was rolled up four or five times and it was dark.”

Unfortunately, the nearby East Winch Wildlife Center was full and couldn’t help the seal, so Miss Butler and Miss Sisson had to deal with the seal themselves.


Friends of Horsey Seals rescue seal from Norfolk beach

The fishing net was wrapped around the seal’s neck 4-5 times and was difficult to remove
– Credit: Julie Sisson

“The seal had a cut 1cm deep around the back of the neck but it was not infected. We doused the wound with antiseptic spray and checked it was okay. Too deep.”

The next day, they spotted the seal further up the coast, after finding another group of seals.

“We were relieved to see that everything was fine. You never know if these seals survive or not, but with the wound not too deep, hopefully.

“He wouldn’t have survived without our help with the net wrapped around his neck like this.”

The welfare of seals has become a growing concern this year after several incidents of entanglement and harassment of seals put them at risk.


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