WATCH: Seal jammed in rocks rescued with swan hook

Seal rescued from hole at Waxham Norfolk

A seal jammed in rocks at Waxham has been safely released thanks to volunteer rescuers who nearly got bitten in the process. - Credit: FoHS

A seal pup found wedged in rocks couldn't wait to get back to the beach after rescuers pulled it free.

Volunteers from the Friends of Horsey Seals were called to Waxham on Sunday after multiple people reported seeing the pup jammed against the sea wall.

Video shows its rescuers donning bite-proof gloves and trying to lift it out, before opting to use a swan hook.

The seal, estimated to be around four months old, then resisted efforts to encourage it onto a stretcher and instead lashed out and made off on its own.

Peter Ansell, chairman of the Friends, said the pair then had no option but to bring it along the wall and safely to the beach where it was released unharmed.

Fence being put up by Horsey Friends of Seals and Natural England Volunteers at Winterton beach to p

Peter Ansell Chairman of the Friends of Horsey Seals said a seal was saved at Waxham on Sunday. - Credit: BRITTANY WOODMAN

He said it was one of around four so far this year that had been caught out by high tides and had trouble finding their way back to the water.

And while methods might sometimes look "a bit brutal" the priority was to complete the rescue quickly so as not to stress the animal.

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"We have had to lever them out with planks of wood before and we have even bought new gloves at £75 each that are used to protect handlers from rabid dogs.

"The longer you take the more stress you cause to the animal.

"The idea is to get it done and dusted as quickly as possible.

"They come up with the tide and get to the base of the sea wall.

"They think they are going to go through the rocks but just fall through. Until they get bigger that is what is going to happen."

In this case the plan had been to carry the seal to the sands on a stretcher but the animal had other ideas and "went off like a dog on a lead".

The incident happened at around 1.30pm on sunny Sunday.

Mr Ansell said there was no danger of the retractable swan hooks digging into flesh, adding they didn't tighten like nooses but locked when in position.

It was also normal practice to "scuff" some sand towards the back of the seal to encourage it in the right direction, he added.

Overall it was a swift rescue that had saved a life, he said.