24 Hour Hotline   -   02 9415 3333

To report all injured or distressed marine mammal

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 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.

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