SUP Seal Encounter: Fraser in St. Ives

Posted date: 08-January-2021

UK.  St. Ives in Cornwall, England is one of the UK’s most beautiful and popular surf and SUP spots. There is a grey seal colony just off the coast inhabiting a tiny island called Seal Island! So it’s no surprise that ASI SUP instructor, Fraser Withey and his SUP pup, Nellie, should come across a playful pup out in the surf and enjoy an exciting encounter!

“Whilst paddling at St Ives I was followed by a seal towards the dog friendly beach.

“Everyone on the beach was watching me and the friendly seal.

“I turned to get closer to shore and a wave picked me up, subsequently I surfed to the beach where my board dug in causing both Nellie (my dog) and I to somersault up the sand boardless, all very embarrassing!”

Never mind, Fraser, that encounter sounds like it was well worth the wipeout! Thanks you so much for sharing your story with us.

Remember, should you come across seals it’s important to engage mindfully with the encounter. ASI instructor and marine biologist, Alana Bonnick gives us this advice:

“Always keep 100 yards away from marine life as they are wild animals and therefore can be unpredictable. If humans get too close we can also cause large amounts of stress to the animal which in some cases can result in injury, so it is best to just keep your distance! It is fine if the animal's curiosity gets the better of them and they decide to venture closer, like I said, I've had some very close encounters! But it is just important that it is on their terms.”

Find out more about the UK’s seal population,  how you can help them and what to do if you encounter them whilst out paddling in our interview with the Cornish Seal Sanctuary  

You can also donate to the Seal Sanctuary 

Send us your seal encounter stories if you want your very own, limited edition, Cornish Seal Sanctuary water bottle!

Don’t forget to follow our campaign #ASISealRescue and keep up to date with our campaign to support the Cornish Seal Sanctuary 


About ASI
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