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Specialist divers called to rescue seal on former hovercraft slipway at Ramsgate Harbour

Emergency diving crews were scrambled to help rescue a stranded seal in Ramsgate Harbour.

Kent firefighters were initially called to assist the stricken animal which had washed up on the former hovercraft slipway.

They called in members of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue team, a registered charity operated entirely by volunteers, who eventually managed to pull the seal to safety by slipping some fencing under its body.

Seal at Ramsgate Harbour
Seal at Ramsgate Harbour

Kent coordinator Lyn Griffiths said: "We had been monitoring the seal since Friday as it appeared unwell and was spending quite a while out of the water, he appeared reluctant to move much and his breathing was noisy plus he looks underweight.

"We caught the seal using a net sling and transferred him to a transport crate, then took him to RSPCA Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre in Fairlight, where we take all our uplifted seals, for assessment and treatment if necessary."

Fire station manager Paul Ramsden said: "When I arrived the seal was washed up on a concrete ramp that used be the slipway for the hovercraft and it was covered in slippery slime and seaweed.

"The rescue was carried out using some Heras fencing which was on site and this was slipped beneath the seal using lines.

"Once in place, the seal tried to make a dash for the water, but the Marine Rescue team used a sling to catch it and bring it up the slope just in time."

Crews rescue seal from harbour
Crews rescue seal from harbour

The seal, found in the harbour at around 6pm on Saturday, has been taken for check-ups by specialist vets.

Mr Ramsden added: "We understand that it will hopefully be released again, once it has been fed up and is back to full health."

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