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BDMLR warn people not to return stranded mammals to the sea



British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) has issued a plea to the public not to return stranded mammals into the sea, explaining no matter how helpful they think they are being, they could be risking killing the animal.

The stark warning comes in the wake of an injured porpoise, which was bleeding and had a damaged dorsal fin, being put back into the sea off Seaham, County Durham, just minutes before BDMLR volunteers made it to the scene.

Tyne and Wear area co-ordinator Darren Martin explained that people should always call the BDMLR 24-hour hotine (01825 765546) to report a stranded cetacean, saying: “I can't say this more highly, but never put them back into the water. It will probably kill them – they will end up going out and getting stressed and probably die from the injuries.”

With reference to the Seaham porpoise, Mr Martin said that they would have done a full assessment on the animal's body, on its breathing and its blowhole, and checked for any injuries. It can then often take hours getting them back into the water and helping them rebalance before they can be released.

It is not known what happened to this porpoise, but elsewhere in the UK, a dolphin had been returned to the water by well-meaning members of the public no less than four times, eventually drowning.

Photo credit: Rob Hare / BDMLR

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Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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