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Divers and conservationists launch marine life rescue initiative in Cornwall

Divernet News

7th January 2003

British Divers Marine Life Rescue, The Cornwall Wildlife Trust and
The National Seal Sanctuary have produced a 'strandings hotline' card
and poster to encourage fast reporting of stranded marine animals.

Most strandings are reported by members of the public -
people walking dogs, divers, surfers, and tourists. Often those finding
stranded dolphins, whales or seals are not sure whom to contact, and
valuable time can be lost.

"It's vital that stranded live dolphins, whales and porpoises are reported to us straight away, that their exact location is given and that they're not put under any additional stress from people or dogs", explained Jan Loveridge of BDMLR.

"We have teams of volunteer Marine Mammal Medics all around the coast of Cornwall who are trained in cetacean rescue techniques, using specially designed pontoons which support the animal until it is fit enough to be refloated.

"The Strandings Hotline Cards will help the public to contact us quickly, so that we can get there in time to prevent the dolphin or whale from drying out or from drowning on the incoming tide, as they are air-breathing mammals just like you and me. Cradling the animal in the pontoon takes the weight off its internal organs and supports it in the water until it has regained flexibility in its muscles and our vet feels it's ready to be released back into the sea. The sooner we're called, the more we can do to help these beautiful creatures".

The card is free of charge, fits easily into a pocket or wallet and is available from a number of outlets throughout Cornwall, including libraries, local radio stations, vets and Tourist Information Centres.

The BDMLR emergency contact number to call, if you find a live dolphin or whale, is 01825 765546.

Dead marine mammals should be reported to Cornwall Wildlife Trust's strandings hotline on 0845 201 2626 (sponsored by 4Tel Communications Ltd).

For sick or abandoned seals, call The National Seal Sanctuary on 01326 221361