Appeal for people not to call coastguard about seals on SEFTON beaches
An increase in the number of seals on beaches along the coast of England has led to a huge volume of calls to HM Coastguard.
Coastguards have appealed to people not to call them about basking seals on beaches.
It is thought a larger number of the animals have come ashore to take refuge because of the weather conditions and people are calling the coastguard to report seeing them on beaches, mistakenly thinking they might be injured.
Jordan Grebby, from HM Coastguard, said: ‘If someone sees an injured seal they can call us and we will call the RSPCA, although of course, people can call the RSPCA directly if they think an animal is hurt."
“However, we’ve been receiving a huge volume of calls over the past few days about seals on beaches which have turned out not to be injured."
“Seals on beaches aren’t necessarily there because they are hurt and if you approach them they can respond aggressively."
“Please think before calling 999 and asking for the coastguard about a seal that just happens to be on a beach unless you really think it’s hurt as it could take up time that we need to deal with real emergencies."
“As always though, if you see someone in difficulty at the coast or you yourself are in trouble, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”
Anyone who is concerned about a seal found alone can report it to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 or report it online at www.rspca.org.uk
What to do if you find a seal - advice from the RSPCA
1. Never put a seal back in the sea as it may get into difficulty
2. Do not touch a seal if you find one alone - they can give a nasty bite, which will become infected by the bacteria that live in a seal’s mouth
3. Do not allow dogs or other animals to harass a seal – it could be scared back into the water and washed out to sea by strong currents