What is the first thing I should do?
First aid tips - a basic guide on what to do in the event of a stranding or seal haulout.
Immediately call the 24-hour ORRCA Marine Mammal Rescue Hotline (02) 9415-3333 or the National Parks and Wildlife Service (Outside Australia, call your wildlife authority) and advise of the exact location.
The following are actions that you should not take:-
- Do not do anything that will injure yourself or others.
- Do not push the animal back to sea.
- Do not use the fins or flippers as handles.
- Do not cover or obstruct the blowhole or eyes.
- Do not try to feed the animals.
Ok, what should I do?
If the animal is a whale, dolphin or dugong:-
- Keep the animal upright.
- Keep the tail and fins wet.
- Shade the animal.
- Keep onlookers quiet and well back.
- For your safety, please keep clear of the tail.
- Keep talking and other noises down to a minimum.
- Wait for trained rescuers to arrive.
- Protect yourself from the elements (make sure you have water and protection from the sun or cold).
If the animal is a seal, please note that it is not an unusual occurence for a seal or sea lion to haul out and spend time on land.
- Do not approach the seal, there is a legal requirement of keeping a distance of 40m away. Seals can out run us over short distances.
- Do not pick up the seal.
- Do not block the seal's exit point to the water.
- Do not throw water on the seal.
- Do not try and feed the seal.
- Do not let dogs approach the animal as they may be severly injured.
- Please note as many physical characteristics as possible such as the colour of the fur, the size, does it have earflaps? This information will assist us in determining the species.