Devon

Brixham swimmer insists 'unnerving' seal encounter was 'not attack'

woman Image copyright Angela Neil
Image caption Mrs Neil said the encounter was "unnerving" but "not an attack"

A swimmer has spoken out about an "unnerving" seal encounter which left her with a "punctured" leg but insists it was not an attack.

Angela Neil said the mammal was being "inquisitive" when it wrapped its mouth around her leg in the sea off Brixham on Tuesday.

She said she had been back in the water since, adding: "I am not worried about it."

She hopes the experience will not stop others from swimming in the sea.

The 59-year-old was swimming with her husband from Breakwater Beach to Ladybird Beach when the encounter happened.

She said she lay on her back "trying to be still" after noticing the seal.

After nuzzling her husband, Mrs Neil said the seal put its mouth around one of her feet and legs before it "punctured" the skin on her other calf.

Image copyright Angela Neil
Image caption Mrs Neil's skin was damaged when the seal put its mouth round her lower leg

She was taken to hospital and is recovering at home after being given antibiotics.

In a statement, conservation group the Seal Project said is not breeding season, therefore the seal was not protecting any pups.

"All the indications suggest the seal was alone and simply curious," it added.

It suggested sea swimmers should following guidelines released by the Outdoor Swimming Society to reduce the risk of a wild encounter.

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