Firefighters save seals as they answer aquarium's call for help

The Blue Reef Aquarium in Tynemouth. Image copyright Google Maps.
The Blue Reef Aquarium in Tynemouth. Image copyright Google Maps.

A crew of firefighters sprung into action to help save seals from drowning after a problem with their tank threatened to leave them stuck.

Staff at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Tynemouth called for assistance from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service earlier today after the team discovered a leak in the pump system of the tank.

It is undergoing one of its bi-annual deep cleans, with the check scheduled to be complete by tomorrow.

The 10 metre deep tank, which spans 5 metres to 7 metres, had a reduced water level, which meant the seals were unable to get out of the water to take a rest on a ledge, putting them at risk of drowning.

The crew was able to pump 600,000 litres of water into the tank using a nearby hydrant, bring the water level back up and allowing the mammals to get out of the pool.

A spokeswoman for the service said: "Crews pumped water into the seal enclosure, which allowed them to exit their pool and rest.

"The seals, a male called Marvolo, 11-years-old, a male called Sofus, 11 years, a female called Loffe, 13 years, and a female called Calypso, two years, were unaffected by the situation and we left in the care of centre staff."

After the call out, the popular family attraction thanked the team on its Facebook page and via Twitter.

It said: "Thank you to Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service who today came and helped fill our seal pool.

"Our main sea pump failed in the storms leaving us without water.

"With their help our seals are now able to safely haul out on land for a rest."

The service said in reply: "No incident is ever the same - but this certainly beats our usual jobs!

"Great we can be of service to our community."

The crew from Tynemouth was sent to the Grand Parade centre at 10.20am today.