Published: June 16, 2011
In photos: Seal rescued from cooling chamber at Hinkley Point

Workers at Hinkley Point B nuclear power station, near Burnham-On-Sea, showed their adaptability when they had to rescue a stranded seal this week.

An atlantic grey seal was spotted swimming around in the power station's cooling water intake chamber.

The seal, although unharmed, was unable to swim out again by itself.

The supply of cooling water is needed for the power station's two reactors and was unaffected.

The station set up a recovery team under that week's emergency controller, Nick Wall, to ensure safe rescue of the seal.

EDF Energy staff and contract partners from Cape Industrial Services and Spence Crane Hire worked together on a plan to extract the seal without causing her distress.

The local RSPCA was also called to the site to advise on welfare issues.

Nick Wall said: "We set about designing a suitable cradle to extract the seal safely. Our visitor though, who we quickly dubbed 'Celia the seal', seemed in no hurry to leave as there were plenty of fish around for her."

After five days the recovery team's perseverance paid off and the grey seal was caught and lifted to safety.

Following a ‘once-over’ from a local vet, Celia was then released from a beach a few miles to the west of the power station. The spot was chosen as it was far enough away and on the out-going tide so as to minimise the risk of the seal returning.

Michelle Orriss from the power station, who herself used to work at a seal sanctuary, said: "It was great to see the care and thought that went in to rescuing the grey seal. It was very much a team effort to look after Celia and return her back to the sea."

Following a check by a vet, the seal was released onto a beach

The seal entering the Bristol Channel after its rescue

Celia the seal was released a few miles to the west of Hinkley Point

Bookmark and Share

Search|Add to your Bookmarks|Send a mail from|Print this page|Back to previous page|Discuss this article

Burnham-On-Sea Seafront Webcam
Burnham-On-Sea Webcam
24-hour live pictures
See live images of the seafront and beach with Burnham's Webcam. Click here

Burnham-On-Sea Shops
Burnham-On-Sea Shopping Guide
Buy in Burnham!
Support local traders by shopping in town - see our A-Z index of businesses. Click here

Burnham-On-Sea Video
Burnham-On-Sea Video
Burnham video news
Watch video highlights of events across Burnham with these video clips. Click here

Burnham-On-Sea Photos
Burnham-On-Sea Photos

Photo gallery
Hundreds of photos from events across the Burnham-On-Sea area. Click here

Burnham-On-Sea What's On
What's On In Burnham-On-Sea
Things to see and do
Check the constantly updated calendar for what's happening. Click here