Coast Guard Auxiliary assists with release of harbor seal pup

A harbor seal pup looks over the transom of a boat

“Stop the boat, I want to get back on!” –
Photo courtesy of Kevin Mack, Progressive Animal Welfare Society.

A group of Coast Guard Auxiliary members from Edmonds teamed up with the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) recently for some adorable results.

Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 12 volunteers transported a PAWS crew and a rehabilitated harbor seal pup out into Puget Sound near Everett last month to release the pup into the wild. It’s the second time that Flotilla 12 has used one of its vessels, the Glimfeather, to safely re-introduce a rehabilitated seal into the wild.

PAWS is headquartered in Lynnwood, and has expanded since its founding there in 1967 to work with neglected animals all around the region. In 1981, the group began treating sick, injured, or orphaned wildlife with the goal of returning them to their natural habitat. Abandoned or injured harbor seals quickly became the largest proportion of marine mammals treated at the specialized PAWS Wildlife Center.

But releasing harbor seals safely can be a challenge. Last year, PAWS contacted Flotilla 12 after one of their members attended a boating safety class conducted by the flotilla. A successful release last November led to another this year.

“Working with PAWS has been an enjoyable and worthwhile experience,” said Mike Allert, who owns the Glimfeather. “We’re always ready to help. That’s what the Coast Guard Auxiliary is all about.”

The seal pup, originally rescued from a beach near Everett Marina, apparently felt the same way: after PAWS members Kevin Mack and Stephanie Herman eased it into the water, it stayed near Glimfeather and even tried to re-board. But eventually, it swam off near Jetty Island, back home again.

Coast Guard Auxiliary members

Mike Allert, Ty Tabor, Jim Neff and Shirley Allert, members of Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla-12 in Edmonds.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Mack, Progressive Animal Welfare Society.

It may not be the last.

“The Coast Guard Auxiliary is a wonderful organization to work with,” said Mack, “I would love to work with them again in the future!”


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