Sedgewick the seal saved from stranding

15:59 03 January 2014


Dubbed 'Sedgwick', this exhausted seal was washed up on the beach at Crow, but retruned to the sea with a little help. Picture: Sam Turner.

Sam Turner

More stories from North Devon’s day of battling with the power of the sea.

'Sedgewick' makes his way into the water... Picture by Sam Turner.'Sedgewick' makes his way into the water... Picture by Sam Turner.

NORTH Devon Gazette reader Sam Turner helped out another victim of the tidal surge when he rescued a stranded seal at Crow today (Friday).

Hopelessly deflated after being battered by onshore winds and the tidal surge – and instantly christened ‘Sedgewick’ – the large seal had been left high and dry on the beach.

“The spring tide was ebbing out to sea faster than poor Sedgewick could manage and twice he was blown back up the beach by the surging waves and wind,” commented Sam, who serves in the Royal Navy and is from Barnstaple.

“I know from sailing these waters that we have one of, if not the, fastest flowing tides in Britain - and I have been taken by surprise a few times on a spring tide while sailing out the River Yeo

“I knew Sedgewick needed to get back into the sea, not because he was in immediate danger, but I know that he needed to get the out going tide. If he had waited for the incoming tide and caught mid-tide he would surely have ended up past the old iron bridge in Rock Park.

So a bit of gentle encouragement and pointing with a driftwood oar saw Sam ‘escort’ Sedgewick down to the shoreline – a process that took some time…

“After what seemed an age we reached the tide line but unfortunately for Sedgewick he was hit by a surge and the onshore gusts, so he promptly rolled halfway back up the beach, I think he was disorientated and a bit dazed as there was driftwood and debris around,” continued Sam.

“So off we set again with pointing him in the right direction and after another 10 minutes or so he managed to catch it just right and off he went into the waves. He seemed to float around a bit, possibly relaxing some muscles after a strenuous stroll to the tide line, and the last I saw of him he was bobbing off into the distance towards Saunton.”

As all this was going on Sam kept up a running commentary on Facebook and Sedgewick had built up a bit of a fan base by the time he safely hit the waters…


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