Thanks to the quick action of concerned locals, the dedication of the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and the expertise of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, a little seal pup was successfully rescued from entanglement over the weekend.
On Sunday, November 17 at roughly 2.47pm, NSRI Simon’s Town was alerted by locals of a seal that was entangled in a fishing net just off-shore of Simon’s Town harbour.
They were on their boat heading to go out fishing at sea when they came across the juvenile seal entangled in a fishing net off the breakwater of the harbour.
They reported the incident to NSRI and then they picked up 2 NSRI Simon’s Town rescue crew at the Simon’s Town NSRI rescue base, on their private boat Ocean Rover, and took the NSRI members to the seal.
“We found the seal to be well entangled in what looks like an old fishing net but able to swim and it was also eating when we found it, indicating that it was okay despite being trapped in the net. NSRI alerted the SPCA and their Wild Life Inspectors responded to our sea rescue station. Our NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski 2, accompanied by the SPCA Inspectors, to join the boat Ocean Rover on the scene and we took our SAWDN (SA Whale Disentanglement Network) disentanglement kit,” said Hein Scheepers, NSRI Simon’s Town deputy station commander.
It took a while to encourage the seal to come close enough to the craft to catch it. The SAWDN long pole was used to grapple the net.
Once safely on the boat, still entangled in the fishing net, the seal was taken into the care of the SPCA Inspectors and brought to shore where the SPCA Inspectors secured the seal and cut the fishing net free of the seal, checked that the seal was mobile and healthy, and the seal was released to the sea and swam off confidently.
The fishing net has been sent to waste disposal.
Michael and Jack Weight on their boat Ocean Rover, are commended for their efforts and their assistance in this operation.
See the rescue in action here:
Currently NSRI is looking for two people who are presumed to have drowned at Mnandi beach on Monday, November 18. No sign of the bodies has been reported and the search has continued today.