Seal rescued after getting stranded in Lewes floodwaters

  • Watch: The rescuers tell the story

A young seal caused a stir in Sussex when it got itself stranded in flood waters near Lewes.

It had managed to get through two sluice gates and into the Winterbourne stream, because the woods had been flooded.

It then found its way into an area called Heart of Reeds, but it could not get out again.

Julia Cable from British Divers Marine Life Rescue says the plan was to come back when the floodwater receded to help out the seal, who was getting agitated and confused.

She says: "The plan was to come back later in the afternoon when the water had receded a little bit. But suddenly my colleague who was at the far side of the flooded woodland area noticed it had got into that area, so we quickly grabbed what anything we could find - a fence panel and some blankets.

We stood back and waited to see what it would do next. As luck would have it, the seal decided to come back over the shallow area where it had got in in the first place and the rest, as they say, is history."

Rescuers then drove the seal down to Newhaven Harbour, away from the river, where they released it into the sea.

Trevor Weeks from the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service says: "We didn't really want to release it back into the river where potentially it is going to go back through the sluice gates. We thought it best to release from the slipway, where it was clearly delighted to be off and away again.

It resurfaced a few times, bobbing and looking around. It certainly started the seagulls down there. The look on its face when it realised it was free and could go back out into the water... it was nice to see it, so nice."