Grey seal found fast asleep on Minehead Harbour

The seal was found by a member of the public. Credit: Andrea Paladino

A grey seal has been snapped sleeping on Minehead Harbour in Somerset.

The creature was spotted on 2 November by a passerby, who then alerted British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR).

Fortunately, the organisation saw no reason to be concerned for the animal and said it just needed to be left to rest.

It has prompted a renewed reminder from Sea Watch Foundation, a marine environmental charity, not to go anywhere near a seal if you see one - awake or sleeping.

If you do find a seal...

  • Watch it from a distance - do not approach the animal

  • Do not chase it into the sea

  • Do not allow children or dogs near it

However, be aware of the following signs...

  • If you see a seal with a white, long-hair coat in the autumn/winter months, or a small seal alone between June and August, it could be abandoned. Check the sea regularly for any sign of an adult seal.

  • A thin seal could be malnourished. Check for visible ribs, hips and neck or a baggy and wrinkled skin.

  • A sick seal might be coughing, sneezing, breathing rapidly or may be making a lot of noise. It may also have thick mucus coming from its nose. A seal showing little response to anything going on around it could also be unwell (although they could be asleep).

  • Seals commonly get tangled in fishing gear and other debris - sometimes they get caught around their necks, flippers and body.

After stormy weather, seals are known to haul themselves out onto beaches to rest and regain their strength.

Members of the public are always reminded not to go near them, and allow them to stay put.

If in doubt, contact the British Divers Marine Life Rescue team.

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