Our specially trained water rescue teams have been out rescuing animals affected by the storms and rising tides that have battered the east of England.

Officers have so far been involved in rescues involving seals, horses and cattle as they respond to calls from the authorities and members of the public.

A team of our officers, along with local authority seal wardens and members of the Seal & Bird Rescue Trust, are currently patrolling the east Norfolk coast between Great Yarmouth and Cromer looking for seals washed up by the high tides.

So far five seal pups, including common and grey types, have been picked up and will be taken to our East Winch Wildlife Centre, in north Norfolk.

There are serious concerns about seal colonies along the east coast of Norfolk, where there are young grey seal pups at this time of year. Our inspectors will continue to respond to reports with more seals expected to be washed up on beaches along the Norfolk coast.

Our water rescue teams have been on stand-by

Inspector Nicola Thorne, who has been out assisting with seal rescues, said:

“The geography along this stretch of coast means that it can take a while to find them when they are washed up.


“Anybody who sees an injured or distressed seal should leave them alone and call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.


“Seals can be quite aggressive. They look very cute, but they can give you a nasty bite that can become infected by bacteria living in the animal’s mouth.”

Our water rescue teams have also been on stand-by in Ipswich and Hull at the request of Defra and the fire service.

A team of officers were this morning called to rescue four bullocks that had become trapped in a flooded field along Sandy Lane, in Martlesham, Suffolk.

Sadly one of the animals had died before their arrival, but inspectors did manage to rescue two of the others by herding them into a nearby field.

The fourth bullock, which will be examined by a vet, had become trapped along the fence line and was in an exhausted and poorly state.

Horses rescued in Winteringham

Meanwhile, a team of our officers rescued three horses, including two pregnant mares, from flood water in Winteringham, South Humberside.

Inspector Ian Callingham said:

“The horses were in a field where the water was up above their chests. They were just managing to keep their heads above the water.


“A team of our water rescue trained inspectors went out with their boat and some of them even had to swim some parts to reach the horses which were then safely rescued.


“One farmer said he’d lived in the area for 85 years and he’d never seen anything like this before.”

We can’t do it without you

RSPCA inspectors are only able to carry out rescues in treacherous conditions like this, helping vulnerable animals in need, thanks to kind donations from the public.

If you would like to help our teams carry flood rescues you can be an animal hero by donating online or text HERO to 88010 to give £3. Text costs £3 plus one standard network rate message.