A swimmer has helped recover an injured seal from the beach at Eastbourne.
Members of the public spotted the mammal in the sea close to the Wish Tower at around 8.30am on Saturday (August, 5).
The animal is now receiving care at the RSPCA Mallydams centre in Fairlight.
— East Sussex WRAS (@eastsussexwras) August 5, 2017
East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) medic Chris Riddington said the creature was in a bad way when he arrived.
“As I approached I could see it was underweight and acting abnormally, as I got closer it returned to the water.
“I continued to monitor the seal and keep the public away, on a busy sunny day on the seafront it was easier said than done.”
The animal did not come close enough to the beach to attempt a rescue, leaving Chris needing to call for further marine rescuers.
He was then joined by a member of the public who offered to swim out to sea and approach the animal from behind, in order to spook it into moving onto the shoreline.
“This is not our normal approach and something I was a bit worried about trying in case we spooked the seal and we lost it completely.
I went as close as I could and tried to assess its condition better and realised he had a lot of blood coming from its muzzle.
“At this point I decided to take the guy up on his offer and attempt it.”
The man swam out towards the seal to distract it, while Chris walked along the groyne with a net and towel in an attempt to catch it.
Eventually they were able to move the animal far enough along the beach for Chris to catch it in the net.
Beachgoers helped carry the injured mammal from the shore into a cage, and from there into a waiting ambulance.
East Sussex WRAS has thanked the swimmer and all other members of the public that contributed to the rescue.
Chris Riddington said:
“Communication and team work were crucial.
“It was all about timing.
“If the swimmer had come out before I was in position or I had approached if he wasn’t close enough it could’ve gone wrong.
“It was incredible team work that really paid off.”