Sea rescuers dealt with patients of a more unusual kind in Port Elizabeth on Saturday — seven seal pups which were swept off an island onto the shore and which were ferried back there to be reunited with their mothers.
Sea Rescue Institute spokesperson, Craig Lambinon, said the seven seal pups were returned to Black Rocks to the care of Dr Greg Hofmeyr, curator of Marine Mammals at Bayworld and local Head of the Marine Animal Stranding Network.
Hofmeyr said the pups, which were born around November and early December, had come ashore at Canon Rocks, on the mainland.
And not being good swimmers at that young age, they were suspected of being swept off Black Rock Island and coming ashore during a storm and big swells on December 24.
Hofmeyr said the pups had been rescued by volunteers along the coastline and they had spent the past few days in the care of Bayworld.
An appeal was made to NSRI Port Elizabeth to assist to ferry them back to the island on Saturday.
"They were safely returned to the island on Saturday morning and we are confident that they will naturally reunite with their moms," Hofmeyr said.
By February, he said, the pups will be better swimmers and with the weather conditions predicted Hofmeyr said the team did not expect them to wash ashore to the mainland again.