April 15, 2018
Burnham-On-Sea crews called to injured porpoise washed up on beach

A porpoise that was washed up on Burnham-On-Sea beach on Saturday evening (April 14th) has sadly been put down after suffering injuries from a boat propeller.

A team of marine mammal medics from BARB Search and Rescue and British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) were called to the beach half a mile north of Burnham-On-Sea lighthouse just after 6.38pm, as pictured here.

A fisherman and a lady walking a dog had raised the alarm after spotting the distressed 1.2m female porpoise in shallow sea water.

It had suffered a serious injury to its left side and a further two injuries to its tail.

Several members of BARB's fully-trained marine mammal medics team fully assessed it and then safely moved it out of the water before keeping it wet and calm until a local vet arrived.

Mike Hayes from Burnham-On-Sea's Blackrock Vet surgery, who attended the incident, said: "The porpoise had sadly been injured in several places and suffered deep wounds. Putting it down was the only humane option."

Gwilym Starks, a BDMLR medic, added: "We believe the injuries were caused by a propeller and it was clearly suffering. Both the local vet and BDMLR vet advised that it should be put down to end its suffering."

The members of the public who had raised the alarm were thanked by the teams for doing the right thing in seeking help. BARB’s volunteers are on-call 24 hours a day to assist with incidents along our coastline - call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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