Video captures moment sick seal Sammy rescued from dock

Distressed seal rescued by volunteers in the docks. Picture: Helen Stoddard

Distressed seal rescued by volunteers in the docks. Picture: Helen Stoddard - Credit: Helen Stoddard

Community members from Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs came together to save a seal that looked unwell in the nearby docks.

Helen Stoddard noticed alerts on the morning of August 28 on a community Facebook group about Sammy the seal looking unhappy and unwell.

With help from Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre (DSWC), who provided a boat, the group were able to locate the seal near the side of Millwall Inner Dock.

The 50-year-old said: “We got to her at around 11.30am, and she was still there, looking extremely unwell and was not fully opening her eyes.”

After informing the RSPCA, British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Ms Stoddard and others continued to monitor the seal.

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The next day, community members posted another video on Facebook of members of the RSPCA monitoring the seal.

As they grew increasingly concerned at the plight of the seal, some people who had gathered at the scene managed to bring a forklift to the site to help in the rescue operation.

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Ms Stoddard said: “This took some time, and it was nail-biting stuff as it could easily have become frightened and moved away. After some time they did manage to get it into the bag safely; get the straps through the handles and the straps onto the forks of the forklift.”

At 6.20pm the seal was in an RSPCA van on her way to treatment.

Ms Stoddard thanked people from Ballymore Group, Galliard Homes, Kelly Group and the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre for providing the necessary watercraft.

She made a plea for people to prevent the docks from becoming blighted with litter and plastics.

“I also strongly wish that people, and the organisations responsible, would do more to clean up the plastic and litter that seems continually to blight the docks, the surrounding areas and the streets,” she said.

“If the seal has not become unwell because of disease, has she done so from ingesting plastic? Sadly, it is not at all unlikely.”

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