MVS Assists in Merseyside Seal Rescue


The MVS assisted the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) after a seal had to be rescued from a field more than 20 miles inland – after apparently getting “very, very lost”.

The seal was discovered in Newton-le-Willows, near St Helens on Merseyside on December 22nd after a possible 50 miles swim from its home before clambering into the fenced-off field from a nearby brook.

It was found by a dog-walker at about 9.45am, sparking a rescue operation involving the emergency services, supported by the RSPCA, the BDMLR and two of our own staff, who have been trained in this type of work.

The creature, believed to be a juvenile male grey seal, was eventually coaxed into a trailer after being corralled by the rescue team and taken to a wildlife centre for checks.

Rachael Fraser of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, who joined our AVO Chris Todd and RVO Eric Thresher said “There’s a grey seal colony near Hilbre Island and that’s where we think he’s come from – but he’s got very, very lost”.

From Hilbre Island at the mouth of the Dee Estuary the seal would have had to swim an estimated 50 miles around the Wirral into the Mersey Estuary and then up a series of brooks to reach the field.

“This is not a regular job for the MVS” said Eric “but we are so pleased to have been able to help”.

Chris who was the first Marine Mammal Medic on scene commented “It’s great for the MVS to assist the BDMLR especially in such an unusual call out”.