A man has been rescued from a cliff face after escaping the wrath of 50 seals who had set their sights on him.
The unfortunate man found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time after going angling in Green Stane, near Eyemouth, Scotland on Friday (November 2).
The fisherman was walking along the beach when he stumbled across approximately 50 seals and their young pups, and the protective parents weren’t about to let their babies come into any harm at the hands of the human.
As the man neared the seals they became agitated and aggressive, so much so that the angler decided it was best to make a speedy escape.
I wonder if he’d been carrying any fish at the time? I feel like he could have created the perfect distraction for the seals if he’d thrown a few of his catch in the opposite direction and made a run for it.
Though admittedly I’m not really clued up on the priorities of seals – fish might not have been enough to distract them from their human enemy.
Presumably seeing no other escape route and recognising that seals probably aren’t great rock climbers, the fisherman decided to scramble up a nearby cliff face, only to become trapped around three quarters of the way up.
Unable to escape the cliff, and with the mass of seals still posing a threat beneath him, the angler made the responsible decision to phone for help.
He rang the emergency services and four Coastguard Rescue Teams from Dunbar, Berwick, North Berwick and Eyemouth, Eyemouth RNLI All Weather Lifeboat, and Police Scotland were all sent to the location.
Angler rescued from cliff face in #GreenStane after he was forced to climb it to escape colony of 50 aggressive seals on beach. #HMCoastguard Rescue Teams lowered to man and then @RNLI lifeboat nips in and takes them off beach! #allsafe #999Coastguard https://t.co/DqibRfKXNz pic.twitter.com/wZQmNqgzHK
— Maritime&Coastguard (@MCA_media) November 3, 2018
Putting skilful rope rescue techniques to work, the emergency services were able to lower a Coastguard Rescue officer 75ft down the cliff to save the stranded man, extracting him from the cliff face and into the waiting lifeboat.
Thankfully, the RNLI Lifeboat had managed to squeeze between the seals without the animals launching an attack, allowing those on board to collect the fisherman and take him to the safety of Eyemouth Harbour.
Luckily the angler is uninjured and only suffering from minor cold exposure after his ordeal.
The unusual story was shared on the Coastguard Twitter, where Senior Coastguard Operations Officer Jonathan Mustard advised anyone who might find themselves up against an angry seal to make themselves scarce as quickly as possible.
Anyone who encounters a seal or a colony of seals on the beach or coastline is advised to move away at the first sign of agitation.
Aggressive seals are not a common occurrence and in this case they may have been protecting or defending their natural habitat and their young.
Remember to take a fully charged mobile when walking on the coast and call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if you get into difficulty.
The rescuers’ work was met with lots of praise on social media, with one person writing:
Heroes at work again. What would the public do without you.
Hero's at work again. What would the public do without you. @NSRI
— Veloccerosso (@Veloccerosso) November 3, 2018
Another responded to the story with an excellent seal GIF that I feel can’t be left unappreciated:
Well done to all those involved in the rescue!
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.