Thursday 23 November 2017

Sun-bathing seal makes RNLI boat his hot-spot

A bull seal in Pembrokeshire which has started to use an RNLI lifeboat as a sun-bathing spot (RNLI)
A bull seal in Pembrokeshire which has started to use an RNLI lifeboat as a sun-bathing spot (RNLI)

A boat normally used to transport RNLI volunteer crew to and from a moored lifeboat has become a favourite sun-bathing spot for a bolshie bull seal.

The boarding boat at St Davids RNLI Lifeboat Station in Pembrokeshire is used to ferry crew to and from the Tamar class lifeboat Norah Wortley.

But now the small boarding vessel has become a regular hang out spot for a local seal which has taken to hopping on board.

The bull seal, which is well known to the RNLI charity's volunteer crew and local tourist boat owners, is between 7ft and 8ft long and was last snapped taking some sun on the inflatable this week.

The adventurous animal has even been seen on board when lifeboat crew have needed the boat for a training exercise and it also likes getting onto the Tamar lifeboat's mooring buoy and has been pictured lying right above a "keep off" sign.

Dai John, St Davids RNLI Coxswain, said: "Usually he is in the mood that when you get within about 20 metres he will slide off and swim away but sometimes he can be feeling a bit more assertive and we have to work around him a little bit.

"But he always moves on pretty quickly.

"He's not a new face around here - he has been around for four or five years.

"He is not the first seal to make themselves known either. But recently the RNLI boarding boat has been his favourite.

"It is an open boat with no seats in the middle so there is more space for him to stretch out.

"There is soft mattress in the boat, which is meant to protect the crew members' knees - he quite likes lying on that.

"His presence doesn't impact on our ability to save lives at sea at all so he is a welcome visitor."

Press Association

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