Seal pup trapped up to its neck in sand and wedged between sea defences is rescued just in time before it was drowned by the high tide
- The grey seal pup was trapped in a sand between sea defences
- It would have drowned, as the tide was due on Waxham Beach, Norfolk
- But a group of local rescuers managed to dig the pup out
Buried up to its neck in sand and wedged between sea defences on a beach, this grey seal pup was facing certain death at high tide.
The outlook looked bleak even when it was found by a photographer who had heard its cries from among the boulders.
Rachel Rickett believed the pup was trapped too tightly for it to be levered out of the sand safely – but alerted the local seal charity to the impending tragedy on Waxham Beach in Norfolk.
She was able to pinpoint the position of the creature using a geolocation app on her phone and a team from the Friends of Horsey Seals was duly dispatched armed with a shovel.
They set about digging and, after donning anti-bite gloves, carefully extracted the pup. In no time at all it was ready to return to the waves, being old enough to survive without its mother.
Buried up to its neck in sand and wedged between sea defences on a beach, this grey seal pup was facing certain death at high tide
‘This pup is no longer dependent on its mum – it just needs rest,’ the Friends of Horsey Seals said
Ms Rickett said: ‘I truly believed it was trapped too tight to be rescued but the team sprang into life like a well-oiled machine.
‘Within minutes of their arrival the seal was free and seemingly no worse off for its experience.
‘Without help, the next high tide would surely drown it.’ Ms Rickett was out walking with friends when she came across the pup.
She said: ‘We were all trying to photograph a purple sandpiper when we first heard the seal’s little cries. I decided there was no way I could leave the it without trying to get it rescued.’
The Friends of Horsey Seals said: ‘We were shocked to see how deep it was buried. We do our best not to interfere with nature but the sea defences are man-made and pups do get trapped in them.
‘Fortunately we carry a small spade and had to do some digging before we could lift the pup out.
‘This pup is no longer dependent on its mum – it just needs rest.’
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