RNLI volunteers who were training on a beach in Redcar spotted a young seal on the promenade, sheltering from the rough sea - and gave it refuge in their lifeboat station until it could be returned to the water.
Dave Cocks, the Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: "To start with it was quite happy to stay snuggled up out of the weather in a corner of a shelter.
"But as more people came along it tried to get out of the way, and we were concerned it might even end up on the road outside the boathouse."
Instead, the volunteers used one of the lifeboat’s survivor’s blankets to swaddle the seal so it could be carried into a quiet corner of the lifeboat station.
They contacted the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, who picked up the seal and took it to a stretch of the River Tees where a large colony of grey seals lives.
The RNLI said they had been contacted by people from around the world after posting a picture of the seal on their Facebook page.