Drive to recruit more marine mammal medics in Dumfries and Galloway

Learn how to rescue seals, dolphins and whales as British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) seeks more people in Dumfries and Gallloway to train as marine mammal medics.

By Brian Yule
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 2:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th May 2022, 9:32 am
British Divers Marine Life Rescue comes to the aid of a northern bottlenose whale
British Divers Marine Life Rescue comes to the aid of a northern bottlenose whale

BDMLR has over 3500 active marine mammal medics around the UK, the only such specialist organisation covering England, Scotland and Wales.

However, only around six are based in this region so a course will be held on Sunday, July 3, at Dhoon Beach, Kirkcudbright, in a bid to recruit more.

The course has been developed to train members of the public (aged 18+) on how to safely rescue stranded whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals.

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It consists of online lectures to be viewed prior to the course date, followed by a day of practical training using life-sized (and weight) whale, dolphin and seal models.

Alistair Bertram said: “The local group of British Divers Marine Life Rescue is looking for more people to train as Marine Mammal Medics to cover the Dumfries and Galloway area.

"At the moment we only have around half a dozen medics to cover our area.

"The medics are all volunteers and respond to try and save seals, porpoise, dolphins or whales which are in trouble.

"Locally call outs are rare, but some notable incidents are the baby seal stuck near the Dock Park, Dumfries, on Christmas Eve, the stranding of three porpoises at Browhouses, Eastriggs, a stranded dolphin at Garleston and five whales which were unfortunately deceased around the Galloway coast.”

The course at Dhoon Beach in July costs £115 and runs from 9.30am-4pm.

For this fee participants will receive the online lectures, the day’s training, one year’s third party medic insurance, cloth medic badge, car stickers, a Medic ID card, a certificate and a copy of our internationally accredited Marine Mammal Medic Handbook, as well as their first year’s subscription to BDMLR.

You do not need to be a diver to take part, but it should be noted this is a wet course so a wetsuit/drysuit, gloves and boots are required.

Refreshments are not included so take a packed lunch.

For more information call 01825 765546 or visit www.bdmlr.org.uk