So the last week or so has had a bit of a theme. Not seals but Dolphins. Common Dolphins. And they seem to have favoured the Brixham Harbour area. Now whilst this isn't an unusual sight, this group of 5, being in the harbour on an outgoing tide, the initial worry was that they might beach themselves, however it seemed all five, who split into two groups, were relaxed and healthy, and it was possibly more a mum and calf bonding session. Similar to something we monitored at the same time last year.
Last year it was pouring with rain, and we monitored into the dark hours, this year the sun was shining and the crowds were enjoying the amazing wildlife they didn't imagine they would ever see so easily. Our main reason for being called out - on a BDMLR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue) Marine Mammal Medic call out - once we knew the dolphins themselves were healthy and in no danger, was to ensure they were left to relax in the area with no disturbance.
This meant keeping humans, dogs, sticks, motorised & non motorised water craft away from them. This did bring some challenging moments, but on the whole we spoke to many lovely people who were amazed that they could see dolphins so closely, and freely. Wild animals need to be left to be wild hence for their welfare we wanted everyone to remain at a sensible and respectable distance, despite the dolphins proximity to us.
A massive thank you to the Head Office team the BDMLR - Link below. All The Seal Project Trustees are medics (this includes the BDMLR Devon Area Coordinator ) along with some volunteers who are medics and some wanting to be! Link below. Thanks also to the Marine Management Organisation, Torbay Harbour Authority, a number of other fantastic people and Sea Tang Guest House who run the Brixham Harbour Webcam and did an amazing thing of covering the two dolphins in the breakwater slipway area whilst we were monitoring remotely before medics could attend. This proved to be invaluable. Thank you x
Its not always obvious when you place a call to the BDMLR Hotline about a seal or dolphin, where you may be referring to. In panic and in the need to get help we often forget many obvious things, like our exact location - so one thing you may not appreciate is the call to the BDMLR hotline - is not local - so therefore be as detailed as you can be in where you are - because....
Do you know how many areas are called 'Preston' in the UK? a whopping 19!
Do you know how many sets of steps Broadsands Beach in Paignton has? Several (9 ish I think)!
So a call out to a seal to 'Preston' or 'by the steps' means one thing to the caller but possibly something different to the person taking the call. The 'What3words' App is a useful tool in this situation.
RESCUE HOTLINE: 01825 765546