Farne Islands seal pup saved by tourist boat skippers

image copyrightWilliam McPhee
image captionMilky foam coming from the seal's mouth suggested it had breathed in sea water

A baby seal has been saved from drowning by the skippers of a tourist boat.

William McPhee and Andrew Weightman fished the motionless two-day-old female pup from the North Sea near the Farne Islands, off Northumberland.

She "would certainly have drowned" if not for their "quick thinking and efforts", a Tynemouth Seal Rescue Unit spokesman said.

Mr McPhee said she "did look very rough when we picked her up".

"You could tell her lungs were full as some milky-looking stuff was coming out," he added.

"We got her wrapped up in a towel and she started breathing a bit better."

image copyrightWilliam McPhee
image captionThe seal has been named Macca after rescuer William McPhee

The skippers with Billy Shiel's Farne Island Boats were taking day-trippers on a tour when they saw the seal off South Scarcar Island.

She is believed to be the first seal pup to be born this season and had been separated from her mother.

Seal pups are dependent on their mothers for at least the first four weeks of their lives.

The rescued pup is being cared for by British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) volunteers and Blue Reef Aquarium staff in Tynemouth.

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