HM Coastguard has been inundated with calls from people reporting injured seals on East Coast beaches, when in fact they are simply resting.
“They’re not drowning, they’re basking”, said the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. “Please don’t dial 999 if you see a seal on a beach on the east coast of England – It might just be enjoying the view.”
It’s thought a larger number of the animals have come ashore to take refuge because of the weather conditions and people are calling the Coastguard to report seeing them on beaches, mistakenly thinking they might be injured.
Jordan Grebby from HM Coastguard said: “If someone sees an injured seal they can call us and we will call the RSPCA, although of course, people can call the RSPCA directly if they think an animal is hurt.
“However, we’ve been receiving a huge volume of calls over the past few days about seals on beaches which have turned out not to be injured.
“Seals on beaches aren’t necessarily there because they are hurt and if you approach them they can respond aggressively.
“Please think before calling 999 and asking for the Coastguard about a seal that just happens to be on a beach, unless you really think it’s hurt as it could take up time that we need to deal with real emergencies.
“As always though, if you see someone in difficulty at the coast or you yourself are in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”