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Brighton RNLI lifeboat tasked to help baby seal

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew of the Brighton RNLI inshore lifeboat were quick to respond to a call for help after a seal pup was seen struggling to swim near Brighton Pier on Saturday morning (2 Sept).

The injured seal on Brighton Beach

Eddie Mitchell

The injured seal on Brighton Beach

The injured seal had been spotted just west of the Palace Pier by members of the Brighton Swimming Club who raised the alarm with a 999 call. Brighton’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat Random Harvest launched at 8.30am.

Upon arrival it was established that one of the members of the swimming club had managed to swim the pup back to the shore and was holding the pup in standing depth water near to the pier.

The lifeboat crew took over holding the pup in the sea whilst the UK Coastguard attempted to contact specialists to help the pup get the medical assistance it required.

After holding the pup in the water for 45 minutes, a team member from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue arrived and advised the lifeboat crew to bring the pup onto the beach where an initial assessment was carried out on the seal.

As the seal was now safely onshore the Brighton lifeboat volunteers passed all details over to the Shoreham Coastguard, who was also in attendance and the crew stood down from the incident.

It was later found out that unfortunately, despite the best efforts of all teams involved, the seal pup passed away.

It’s not the first time the RNLI has been involved in animal rescues. In 2016 the charity saved 431 human lives but also saved 41 dogs, two dolphins, three horses, one porpoise, one seal and two sheep.

Ends

Note to editors: Photographs of the seal and the incident are available from freelance photographer Eddie Mitchell on (07771) 605974 hotel900@gmail.com


RNLI media contacts For more information please contact:

  • Jade Cohen, Brighton RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07850 261593 jade.alissa@hotmail.co.uk
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825, paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
Crew member Jade Cohen with the injured seal

Eddie Mitchell

Crew member Jade Cohen with the injured seal
Crew members with the seal

Eddie Mitchell

Crew members with the seal
The scene on the beach as the Brighton Atlantic 85 lifeboat stands by

Eddie Mitchell

The scene on the beach as the Brighton Atlantic 85 lifeboat stands by

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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