On Friday morning 03/04/15 Arkow RNLI was made aware that there was a seal apparently caught in fishing gear close to the Arklow Harbour entrance.
Two of Arklow RNLI’s team went to the area to ascertain if it was feasible to launch the lifeboat to rescue the weary animal. Due to conditions in the area and due to the proximity of the shoreline and an ebbing tide at the location it was decided it was inadvisable to launch RNLB Ger Tigchelaar.
Because of the trapped animals proximity to the shore, and to eliminate the further risk of any members of the public entering the water to save the seal, a decision was then made to try to rescue the animal from a smaller rescue craft. Two of Arklow RNLI’s volunteers, Michael Fitzgerald, Station Mechanic and Brian Heaney went to sea to the aid of the tiring animal.
The tired and stressed animal was moved to an area where it could make for the shore to rest and was then cut loose from the fishing gear .
The seal had a short break on the lower rocks of the shoreline before making for open water.
Speaking following the incident, Michael Fitzgerald, Station Mechanic said, “Luckily we were able to get to the seal in time to save it, when members of the pubic come across injured, stressed animals like this trapped in fishing gear or injured , they should inform the authorities immediately, they should never enter the water to try to save the animal, they should always leave this to persons who are experienced and have the right equipment to carry out the rescue safely, always respect the water”.
(Source and pictures, Arklow RNLI)