MARINElife Volunteer Spots More Than Wildlife

One of our volunteers, Steve McAusland, saw more than just seals and seabirds whilst scanning the sea during a day out with the Coventry & Warwickshire Local RSPB Group. Here Steve takes up the story....

This month's trip saw us enjoying the superb Norfolk Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve of Cley Marshes, as always when I get the opportunity, I head for the sea to have a few hours sea watching for possible cetaceans, seals and seabirds. As a volunteer MARINELife Surveyor and Wildlife Officer, I'm always looking out to sea when possible for whatever I might see.

As I arrived on to the shingle beach, I was soon scanning the sea with my telescope looking for anything of interest. Gannet, Fulmar, Kittiwake and Guillemot passed by, as did many flocks of Brent Geese. Two Grey Seals also made a few brief appearances before heading North.

Upon looking far out to sea I noticed a small red boat, and within it a chap trying desperately to get the outboard motor to start. I could see that he was also trying to use his mobile phone, and as he did the strong tide was pulling the boat further and further away from land. After some time he started waving his paddle. I guessed this was someone in distress, so I called 999 and reported this to the coastguard. After some time, I could see a small fishing boat, the "Kirsty Lee", making its way towards him, and at the same time a Lifeboat from the RNLI was on its way to assist.

Cley Marshes Boat 01 Cley Marshes Boat 02

The chap was soon on board the fishing boat, and they towed his boat back to the beach, whereupon he was probably glad to be back on dryland.

After witnessing the rescue, and feeling rather pleased with myself, it was off to look at what birds where about in the reserve.