Rescued on 29th December 2004

At 11pm on 29th of December 2004, West Cornwall Medics were called by Felicity Cross, RSPCA, to a seal sitting halfway up the steps of a pier in St Ives harbour, and was also being occasionally bothered by drunken revellers leaving nearby bars. Coordinator Tim Bain, who had only arrived home from London just three hours beforehand, took a short walk from his home and joined Felicity. The male pup, which still had small tufts of its white coat left, appeared to be in good condition, and a short time later, once Co-ordinator Dave Jarvis and Medics Lesley, myself and Phil Jarvis had arrived, a decision to relocate the pup was taken due to the dangerous place it was in (sitting precariously on the edge of the steps 20ft above the ground), and so that it would also be out of the way of the public.

To do this, we acquired a couple of nearby fishing boxes to put the seal into once it was caught (the cage was too large and heavy to use on the narrow steps). Tim armed himself with a towel, while Phil and I took a box each and the three of us descended the steps. Tim caught the pup quite easily and it was quickly transferred to the first fishing box, and then the second box was put over the first upside down to create a makeshift vari-kennel.

Once we were all back on the pier and under a streetlight, we checked over the pup and found some punctures on the lower half of its body and its left rear flipper, plus a large, sore gash on the palm of its right foreflipper. At this point we decided to hold the pup overnight.

The next morning, we called the Sanctuary to let them know that we had a pup that needed to come in, so that a pen in the Hospital could be prepared. I drove it in with Tim, where it was weighed at a healthy 20kg. Later, after it had recovered from the journey, Marianne Fellows and Selina Gregory performed a clinical assessment on the pup and found more puncture wounds on its body and had a slightly high temperature. They estimated it to be about 4-5 weeks old, and he was named Clyde.

Medic Dan Jarvis
British Divers Marine Life Rescue
West Cornwall