How do you shift a one-tonne walrus? Lifeboat crews seek advice on moving ‘Wally’ in emergency

Rescue crews in Wales have sought advice from marine experts on how to safely move a giant walrus amid concerns it could prevent the lifeboat from launching in an emergency.

The Arctic creature - nicknamed 'Wally' - has taken to lounging on the slipway used to launch the boat at Tenby in Pembrokeshire, where it refuses to budge.

Lifeboat crews attempting to launch for a test rescue mission this week found themselves having to persuade the walrus to move out of their path first.

Wally has taken to lounging around on the slipway used to launch the emergency lifeboat. Credit: Ffynon/Flickr

An airhorn and a hosepipe were both deployed, with a volunteer even resorting to clanging a pole in a bid to encourage Wally back into the water.

Holidaymakers watched as the walrus lazed around, refusing to move for up to 20 minutes.

The RNLI said lifeboat crews have been getting advice from marine mammal welfare experts on how to move Wally so that it doesn't hinder a real-life rescue.

The Arctic creature recently thwarted crews carrying out a test rescue mission. Credit: Gareth Davies / @gdptenby

A spokesperson said: "The RNLI charity is working with a number of organisations to ensure the well-being of their Arctic visitor, who has taken up residence on the slipway of Tenby’s all-weather lifeboat station.

"The crew have been able to launch the Tamar class lifeboat, using methods which are being supported by marine mammal welfare organisations to gently nudge Wally in the water.

"It is imperative they can launch quickly 24/7 in an emergency situation. So the RNLI continues to work with a local multi-agency team to ensure the safety of Wally whilst being able to successfully save lives at sea."

The walrus has been making himself at home in Wales after previously being spotted in Ireland. Credit: Gareth Davies / @gdptenby

Animal welfare groups monitoring the walrus believe it came across the North Atlantic ocean from Greenland on an ice floe.

It was first seen in Ireland before being spotted in Pembrokeshire in March.

Since appearing in Wales, Wally has been pictured capsizing an inflatable dinghy boat and attempting to climb aboard a fishing boat, as well as balancing a starfish on its nose.

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