Published: 11:13, 18 April 2021
| Updated: 14:14, 18 April 2021
A team trying to rescue a trapped seal from the River Medway has thanked the public for their help.
Volunteers from the British Diver Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) have been trying to help the mammal which was first seen in the river in Maidstone on April 2.
Lengthy attempts have been made to rescue "Bradley" towards the end of the week and over the weekend, but with no success. It is thought the wayward seal is trapped in the Medway because it will not be able to negotiate the lock gates at Allington.
The marine rescue team was again at the site at about 6am and missed the seal "by about 10 minutes".
Director of rescue operations for BDMLR, Mark Stevens, dismissed claims the public were "crowding" around the site and making things harder for his team.
He said: "There wasn't a problem with crowding at all. People who were there were very helpful, actually. They helped make tea and other things.
"So far everyone has been really helpful and shown a lot of concern for the seal."
Mr Stevens explained how his team spent around nine hours in Maidstone on Friday, as well as prep time off site.
While Sheila Stone, who is also a member of the marine rescue team, explained how volunteers were down at the river at 6am today but narrowly missed it.
She added: "A team went up there very early this morning but missed it by about 10 minutes.
"We are hoping that the public will give it space and if they see it call us and we'll try to get there as soon as possible."
Speaking about his efforts to save the seal on Friday, Mr Stevens, whose full-time job is a teacher, said: “It has got stuck as far as I can tell. I don’t believe there is another way out.
“It is hanging around the Tovil slipway because it is the only inclined area.
“Everywhere else, it can’t get up the bank to get out. We will have a re-design and have a go.
“It is not the right place for it to be. It is in no danger, apart from the danger of the world’s most dangerous animal which is the human being.
'The seal is okay if people treat it with respect'
“But if people do get close to it, and I have seen photos of people getting very close, it will bite, and their bites are very nasty. I have a few to prove it!
“Go and look at it by all means because it is a lovely thing to see, but they must respect the fact that it is a wild animal, and it will react wildly.
“The seal is okay if people treat it with respect.”
If you see the seal you should call BDMLR on 01825 765546.