June 15, 2016
Aquarists from the Blue Reef Aquarium took part in a mock whale and dolphin rescue on Newquay’s Towan Beach.
The rescue was part of a day-long marine mammal medic training programme organised by British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
Volunteers are taught how to identify the most commonly seen whales, dolphins and seals in UK waters and also what to do if they become stranded or in need of rescue.
Aquarists Lara Mingay and Kyle Wingfield are now qualified marine mammal medics.
Blue Reef Aquarium’s Steve Matchett said: “Cornish waters are home to, or visited by, a huge variety of marine mammal species ranging from seals and harbour porpoises to bottlenose dolphins, pilot whales and even orcas.
“Over the years we have been involved in numerous call outs and rescues and this type of expert training, combined with practicing actual rescue techniques, is extremely useful.
“As well as demonstrating the correct procedures for dealing with stranded animals it also enables our aquarists to raise awareness among visitors about what to do if they spot a sea creature in distress,” he added.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue is the largest marine mammal rescue organisation in the UK and is totally funded by voluntary contributions.
Formed in 1988, BDMLR have been involved in the rescue of marine wildlife after every major marine disaster, including the Braer shipwreck in Shetland and the Sea Empress grounding in Milford Haven.
Every year, BDMLR trains over 400 volunteer Marine Mammal Medics and has 20 whale rescue pontoons located at strategic points throughout the UK, waiting to help stranded whales and dolphins.
• To find out more about the BDMLR go to www.bdmlr.org.uk .
Issued by Blue Reef Aquarium. For more information contact Lara Mingay and Kyle Wingfield on 01637