Seahouses lifeboat crew go to the rescue of an eider duck

Feathers were flying when Seahouses RNLI went into action - with the help of a child's fishing net.

Sunday, 7th April 2019, 12:39 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th April 2019, 12:49 pm
An eider duck. Picture by Rach Douglas

It's usually people who need their help, but this time the crew had spotted a female eider duck in Seahouses harbour with fishing line wrapped around its neck.

While these ducks are quite tame, the crew couldn't get close enough to help.

But after several days, the bird's welfare began to trouble them so they hatched a plan.

Fleet Staff Coxswain Francie Morgan (on temporary duty at Seahouses), with crew members James Higgins and Kika Isakiewicz, borrowed a child’s fishing net on a cane and managed to humanely restrain the bird so that the nylon line could be safely removed from its neck.

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They were also concerned that the line may have contained fish hooks. Once checked over, the bird was released and swam off , apparently unphased by its unpleasant experience.

Eider ducks are known locally as Cuddy’s (St Cuthbert’s) ducks, and a number inhabit Seahouses harbour.

A Seahouses RNLI spokesman said: "The RNLI would like to remind people fishing in and around the harbour to avoid discarding nylon fishing line, which can injure or kill local wildlife. Another example, sadly, of marine plastic pollution."