A fisherman trapped on a cliff in Scotland has been rescued from over 50 rampaging gray seals.
You don’t normally think of seals as terrifying creatures. In fact, most YouTube videos seem to portray them as underwater canines just looking for a human to play with (hence the unofficial name of “sea doggoes”).
But seals can be dangerous. Besides having razor sharp teeth and a large, blubbery body, they typically form colonies of anywhere between 20 and 100 individuals, and then one of them decides to attack, they typically all follow suit.
That’s what happened to one unlucky fisherman in the UK last Friday while he was just out walking along the beach.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency issued a statement on Monday revealing they’d rescued a fisherman who was attacked by a colony of seals while walking along Green Stane Cliff in southeastern Scotland. After coming across the seal colony they “became agitated and turned aggressive,” advancing en masse and barking loudly.
Trying to get out of their reach, the fisherman began to climb Green Stane Cliff but couldn’t reach the summit. Luckily he had a cell phone on his person and used it to call for help.
The Coastguard arrived 20 minutes later but weren’t able to rescue the man until they’d mounted a rope and pulley system that would pull the fisherman to safety. That took two hours, meanwhile the seals continued to bark and make aggressive movements at the man trapped clinging to the cliff face.
Eventually, the man was pulled away from the cliff and taken by boat to Eyemouth harbor where he was treated for exposure. He’s slated to make a full recovery.
“Aggressive seals are not a common occurrence and in this case, they may have been protecting or defending their natural habitat and their young,” said Coastguard officer Jonathan Mustard. He went on to add that anyone walking along the coast should keep an eye out for seals and also bring a cell phone in case you need to climb a cliff to escape angry seals and become trapped.
It’s an oddly specific scenario to prepare for, but better safe than sorry.