A MARINE rescue charity has given an insight into its work in a presentation to the RNLI's Largs lifeboat volunteers.

Volunteers from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) group shared information about their organisation and how they operate, along with how the RNLI crew may be asked to assist with the specialised work they perform.

The BDMLR looks after injured or sick seals and stranded whales, dolphins and porpoises around the UK.

Training started with a shore based in-depth evening input on Wednesday, April 10, given by David Devoy from the Clydeside and Ayrshire branch of the BDMLR group.

David explained how the volunteers from BDMLR will aim to rescue marine animals which have been beached around the coast. They also work to release animals which have become entangled in things like fishing nets and ropes.

The volunteers learned about the specialised equipment which is used by the BDMLR to assist these animals without endangering the volunteers or further harming the animals. This equipment included specialised stretchers for whales which have inflatable sponsons.

David was able to share details on some of the different rescues that have taken place along our local coastline including the assistance of Orca, pilot whales, porpoises, seals and dolphins.

Following this theory session, the BDMLR group then joined the volunteer crew from Largs RNLI for an afloat training session on Sunday, April 14.

During this session the BDMLR demonstrated what they would do if they had to un-entangle a whale. This exercise was performed by the BDMLR volunteers using two of their boats, a special grappling tool and several buoys to mark the location of the casualty animal.

The lifeboat was given the opportunity to practice towing one of the BDMLR boats and the crew were able to see some of the specialised equipment they carry.

Volunteer crew member Kerryann Logan said: "Everyone at Largs RNLI would like to thank the volunteers from the Clydeside and Ayrshire branch of the BDMLR for taking the time to share their knowledge and experience.

"The afloat session was brilliant, being able to see the specialist equipment in use and the techniques used.

"I now feel more confident in what I could do to help if a situation occurs where our organisations need to work together to save an animal."

If members of the public find a stranded dolphin, porpoise or whale, they should call the BDMLR’s rescue hotline on 01825 765546.

In an emergency at sea or at the coast, always dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.