Marine Scotland Compliance Staff practice whale rescue in Ullapool

May 29, 2013 by No Comments | Category Compliance

{caption]The MPV Minna berthed in Ullapool on Tuesday 21st May so that crew members could take part in a Whale and Dolphin Rescue Course.

The course is offered by BDMLR, the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, which is a successful and popular charitable organisation. BDMLR was set up in the late 80’s during various seal distemper outbreaks in the UK and now has expanded to include tasks like cetacean rescue and large whale disentanglement from nets and lines.

Minna was a good base for the course. We welcomed the course leader, Ali Jack, on board as soon as we berthed and soon 2 more recruits arrived. Ashley Shepherd joined us from Portree Fishery Office and Roddy MacIver had taken the ferry over to Ullapool from Stornoway Fishery Office.

After coffee and introductions we spent the morning listening attentively to Ali’s in depth and very clearly delivered presentation on cetacean biology, marine mammal stranding and possible stranding first aid techniques.

In the afternoon, they formed a practical whale rescue team on Ullapool Harbour beach.

Ali had brought an inflatable Pilot Whale and Common Dolphin – one that could be partially inflated with sea water to mimic, reasonably accurately, the weight and size of the actual animals. The team was instructed in how to refloat the animals using inflatable pontoons. The objective being to offer stranded cetaceans the best chance of survival provided they are both still living and in healthy condition.


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