Rescuers save seal pup found on beach

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Two brave rescuers were quick on the scene when a starving seal pup was washed up on the beach.

The baby seal, believed to be only a few months old, was found on the shore at Cleveleys on Saturday.

A seal was rescued when it became stranded on the beach at Cleveleys, near Blackpool'The seal is captured and sent for treatment

A seal was rescued when it became stranded on the beach at Cleveleys, near Blackpool'The seal is captured and sent for treatment

The animal, which had become separated from its mother would have died within hours without the help of nearby residents Melanie Smith and Mark Taylor.

And luckily for the pup, both saviours had recently completed a course on marine life rescue.

The couple, from Anchorsholme, both hold a qualification from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) organisation.

They were tipped off that the seal was in trouble and Melanie was first on the scene.

She found the seal in a lot of trouble. It had been washed up on the beach and was exhausted.

Mark Taylor

Mark explained: “I was playing football and didn’t receive the initial call, so Melanie headed straight out to the beach and I arrived later.

“She found the seal in a lot of trouble. It had been washed up on the beach and was exhausted.

“Mel could tell right away that the animal was underweight.

“She gently carried it down to the beach and put it in the sea but it was so weak it could not swim against the waves and she had to pull it to safety again.

A seal was rescued when it became stranded on the beach at Cleveleys, near Blackpool Melanie Smith, from Anchorsholme, protects the seal while the RSPCA are on route

A seal was rescued when it became stranded on the beach at Cleveleys, near Blackpool Melanie Smith, from Anchorsholme, protects the seal while the RSPCA are on route

“Once back on the beach, she took it to a place further up where the seal pup would be more comfortable.

“We covered it in a blanket and had to sort of sit astride it to keep the pup calm and comfortable while we waited for the RSPCA to arrive.

“The RSPCA man told us it was unlikely the pup would have survived for more than a few hours on the beach.

“He said it was one of this year’s pups and must have become separated from its mother and headed to shore in confusion.”

A seal was rescued when it became stranded on the beach at Cleveleys, near Blackpool'A seal was rescued when it became stranded on the beach at Cleveleys, near Blackpool'Melanie Smith, from Anchorsholme, protects the seal while the RSPCA are on route

A seal was rescued when it became stranded on the beach at Cleveleys, near Blackpool'A seal was rescued when it became stranded on the beach at Cleveleys, near Blackpool'Melanie Smith, from Anchorsholme, protects the seal while the RSPCA are on route

Mr Taylor, who works in marine conservation took the course in saving marine life as part of his job.

Melanie, who also loves the outdoor life, said she would be interested in doing the course as well and paid to take part herself.

The couple, both 31, only finished their studies a fortnight ago.

Mr Taylor said: “Melanie works in marketing but loves being outdoors so she decided she wanted to have a go at the course herself.

“She was first on the scene and did a fantastic job to keep the seal calm and safe.

“We are both trained in helping anything from a dolphin to a whale or porpoise which might have been washed ashore.”

The pup was taken to a seal rescue centre in Cumbria where it will be nursed back to health.

A spokesman said the pup would be fed through a tube until an assessment could be made on whether it could be returned to the wild.