Stranded Porpoise Defies All the Odds

A young female Harbour Porpoise had a second chance of life when the marine mammal was rescued from the mud flats at Snettisham beach and successfully released by the rescue team at Sea Life Hunstanton.

Sanctuary team members travelled to the scene on the 4th April 2018 after a reported sighting by a concerned member of the public of a possible porpoise thrashing in the mud shortly after the tide had retreated.
Stranded Porpoise Defies All the Odds
Stranded Porpoise Defies All the Odds Unfortunately due to the location of the stranding the team had to move the porpoise to safety as only the porpoise´s blow hole and dorsal fin were visible and there was a strong likely hood of it drowning in the thick mud without intervention.
Sanctuary team member Natalie Emmerson said "It was very clear on arrival she was in a bad way, trapped in a shallow muddy pool with the tide out would have been incredibly stressful and it´s likely it wouldn´t have survived for long in these conditions." Stranded Porpoise Defies All the Odds
Stranded Porpoise Defies All the Odds "We suspect that she may have become trapped and disorientated in the muddy creeks, possibly while chasing food".

"She´s very lucky to have not sustained any serious injuries whilst she was stranded, we decided the best course of action would be to transport her a short distance so she could be re-floated somewhere safe and be checked over by a local vet before being released." Natalie continued.
The porpoise was stretchered by the rescuers and transported out into deeper water with the help of an amphibious boat called the "Wash Monster", operated by Searles Sea Tours.

Allowing the team to release the female porpoise off a distant sand bar out in The Wash, increasing her chances of successfully returning to the wild.
Stranded Porpoise Defies All the Odds
Stranded Porpoise Defies All the Odds Aquarist Nicky Nelson who assisted with the rescue and release said "After a short period of her resting in the stretcher and slowly being re-floated it was evident she was coping well."

"She soon headed out into deeper water, but after a few minutes she started to head back towards the sand bank but was able to navigate on her own accord and fairly soon we lost sight of her in the distance."
William Searles, Skipper and director of Searles Sea Tours commented "I was pleased that Sea life approached us and that we were able to assist with the release.

It was a tense moment watching her go, however, I´m happy to watch her be returned to the wild".
Stranded Porpoise Defies All the Odds
Stranded Porpoise Defies All the Odds The team dealt with their last stranding event in February 2016, when a second sperm whale was discovered beached 1.5 miles out on the sand.

Unfortunately nothing could be done due to the size of the whale, however, the team are delighted on this occasion to have been able to help and watch the porpoise swim away.



Press Release issued by the Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary
For more details please contact: Adam Makinson on 01485 533576
Date: 9th April 2018

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