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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
First-aiders wanted for whale watch
Moby the whale
A whale nicknamed Moby died when it became stranded in the Firth of Forth
A marine rescue unit offering a training course in first aid for whales is looking for Scottish volunteers.

The Marine Mammal Medic course teaches basic first aid and care for stranded whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals or sealions and also covers re-floating them back into the water.

The one-day course in helping stranded sea mammals is being run by the Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit, based in Aberdeenshire.

The unit operates a full-time specialist whale and dolphin rescue team based in Gardenstown, near Banff.


Very often the animal may be very sick but if we have a healthy animal and the vet is able to give a good prognosis for a re-float then it does require a lot of people.

Rescue co-ordinator Kevin Robinson
Those who participate in the course, organised by the unit receive a special certificate.

Senior rescue co-ordinator Kevin Robinson explained: "The course is open to everyone but we are trying to teach as many vets and divers as we can.

"Divers are particularly sought after because they have experience of being in the water and their own wet suits which are essential to keep warm while working.

"But we are also targeting people in this area who can get to the scene and is interested in helping us."

Formed in 1997, the non-profit research group is based on the outer Moray Firth, where sea mammals are often stranded.

Stranded situation

Dr Robinson said the centre was trying to build up a network of people trained for sea rescues.

He said: "There are already 1,500 volunteers across the country. What we have found in a stranded situation is that what you need are bodies.

"Very often the animal may be very sick but if we have a healthy animal and the vet is able to give a good prognosis for a re-float then it does require a lot of people.

"There are times when it has taken 20 people to refloat a dolphin, particularly when there is nasty weather."

See also:

16 Jun 01 | Europe
Killer whales swim into city
17 Oct 98 | Sci/Tech
Hungry whales prey on otters
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