Nothing like a Sunday stroll on Long Strand in beautiful West Cork followed by a delicious lunch at The Fish Basket! But you never know what might happen on the beach….

We had met our friends, Anna and John for a catch up, and were deeply engrossed in chat when we came upon a little seal pup cleverly disguised as a lump of wet sand, near the water’s edge.
He looked abandoned, cold, miserable, and alone. Although instinctively you think about getting him back into the sea, we knew not to go near him, touch him, or attempt to put him in the water, any of which would assure his demise.

The mother seal had possibly left him on the beach for safe keeping while she went fishing. She was perhaps, not far offshore waiting for the coast to clear of meddling humans so she could fetch him for dinner! Or he may also have been stranded on the beach by the outgoing tide, or sickly, and therefore in need of human interference and a rescue.

We contacted Seal Rescue Ireland, and even on a Sunday, Claire was at the other end of the phone to advise us and coordinate a plan for the little guy. We took some video of the seal for her and sent her our coordinates. We then put a message for others on the beach using beach pebbles saying “leave alone” to warn people to keep a distance and not touch him.

After a short while Claire let us know that volunteers were on their way to the rescue. Hopefully by now our little beach buddy is hanging out with his Mum again, or in good human hands being nursed back to health. We, and some of our Atlantic Sea Kayaking Team, are now committed to do a course with Seal Rescue Ireland to become volunteers ourselves. There are lots of ways to get involved, have a look at their excellent website if you are interested.

The strangest thing about this story is that the last time we were on a beach with our friends John and Anna, was in Baja Mexico, where we came upon a beached pregnant dolphin and also got involved in a rescue….I can’t wait for our next outing!