Celebrity seal dies of ‘harbour toxins’

The tragic seal

In happier days: having a swim

First published in News
Last updated

A celebrity seal has died two weeks after losing her baby pup.

Rusty the seal became the talk of the town after arriving in Newhaven Harbour three months ago.

Upset admirers have taken to social media to pay tribute to the aquatic mammal after her carcass was spotted yesterday morning.

A post-mortem could be carried out but a marine expert ruled out death by broken heart.

Martin Sinnock, of the British Divers Marine and Life Rescue, suspects toxicity from diesel that had leaked into the harbour.

He said: “Every day she would lie on the mud and she became quite a celebrity.

“Everyone in the town loved her.

“But it was a shame because fishermen were slinging fish to her so she got lazy and fat.

“I saw one fisherman massaging her belly which I didn’t think was right.

“If she took a bite it could take your finger off and they carry a lot of infectious diseases.

“Wild animals need to be out in the ocean otherwise they become too tame and they forget how to hunt. You shouldn’t pander to them.

He added: “Everybody will be very sad.

"Mortality in the wild is extraordinarily high and offspring die all the time. Rusty may have moped around for a few days but I don’t think she had a broken heart

"Personally I loved paddle-boarding alongside Rusty, but you have to remember she was a wild animal. She’s been and gone and I’m sure there will be many others.

"People get affectionate about seals because they’re cute. When her pup died there were women sobbing.

"I thought for Christ’s sake, animals die every day in nature. Poeple don’t give a moment’s thought to the hundreds of fish Rusty has been chomping and sloshing about every day.

"In the end you've got to be realistic and say its another dead animal."

Comments (16)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:56pm Wed 20 Aug 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

Who ever wrote this vile piece is a nasty piece of work.

So sad that an animal loses a baby - animals get very upset over deaths, quite a few are like humans in this respect.

Why does the argus have to give editorial space to some really horrible journalists - time to stop or you may lose readers.
Who ever wrote this vile piece is a nasty piece of work. So sad that an animal loses a baby - animals get very upset over deaths, quite a few are like humans in this respect. Why does the argus have to give editorial space to some really horrible journalists - time to stop or you may lose readers. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 9

10:34pm Wed 20 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

getThisCoalitionOut wrote:
Who ever wrote this vile piece is a nasty piece of work.

So sad that an animal loses a baby - animals get very upset over deaths, quite a few are like humans in this respect.

Why does the argus have to give editorial space to some really horrible journalists - time to stop or you may lose readers.
What on earth did you object to?

I don't expect you to be able to explain, but I felt that the question had to be asked.
[quote][p][bold]getThisCoalitionOut[/bold] wrote: Who ever wrote this vile piece is a nasty piece of work. So sad that an animal loses a baby - animals get very upset over deaths, quite a few are like humans in this respect. Why does the argus have to give editorial space to some really horrible journalists - time to stop or you may lose readers.[/p][/quote]What on earth did you object to? I don't expect you to be able to explain, but I felt that the question had to be asked. notslimjim
  • Score: 6

5:07am Thu 21 Aug 14

Valentinian says...

I just know that I liked a Kiss and a Rose...and so it makes me sad...
I just know that I liked a Kiss and a Rose...and so it makes me sad... Valentinian
  • Score: 1

5:44am Thu 21 Aug 14

PapaMundele says...

Quote: "Who ever wrote this vile piece is a nasty piece of work."

The Argus journalist asked a local person for their opinion which he gave. That opinion seems to make good sense and comes from someone who appears to have a pragmatic attitude to the subject.
I'd hardly call it a "vile piece" from a "nasty piece of work".
Quote: "Who ever wrote this vile piece is a nasty piece of work." The Argus journalist asked a local person for their opinion which he gave. That opinion seems to make good sense and comes from someone who appears to have a pragmatic attitude to the subject. I'd hardly call it a "vile piece" from a "nasty piece of work". PapaMundele
  • Score: 7

10:02am Thu 21 Aug 14

Valentinian says...

Void if Seal is broken
Void if Seal is broken Valentinian
  • Score: 1

11:44am Thu 21 Aug 14

Dingbat99 says...

The Argus has taken an opinion and published it as a fact. Nobody knows what the seal died of.
Disgraceful journalism but then are the 'reporters' journalists nowadays?
The Argus has taken an opinion and published it as a fact. Nobody knows what the seal died of. Disgraceful journalism but then are the 'reporters' journalists nowadays? Dingbat99
  • Score: -1

12:38pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Finn.Scott-Delany says...

It's quite clear in the story that the marine expect said he suspected the seal died of toxins. This is not presented as fact but as an expert viewpoint
It's quite clear in the story that the marine expect said he suspected the seal died of toxins. This is not presented as fact but as an expert viewpoint Finn.Scott-Delany
  • Score: 2

3:37pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Dingbat99 says...

Finn.Scott-Delany wrote:
It's quite clear in the story that the marine expect said he suspected the seal died of toxins. This is not presented as fact but as an expert viewpoint
The person concerned is not a marine expert, and does not represent the BDLMR, and made that very clear to the Argus. It was just a personal opinion. There hasn't been a post mortem.
Go to the Facebook page SAVE NEWHAVEN BEACH AND BREAKWATER ARM, and read it for yourself.
[quote][p][bold]Finn.Scott-Delany[/bold] wrote: It's quite clear in the story that the marine expect said he suspected the seal died of toxins. This is not presented as fact but as an expert viewpoint[/p][/quote]The person concerned is not a marine expert, and does not represent the BDLMR, and made that very clear to the Argus. It was just a personal opinion. There hasn't been a post mortem. Go to the Facebook page SAVE NEWHAVEN BEACH AND BREAKWATER ARM, and read it for yourself. Dingbat99
  • Score: 6

5:23pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Carla_Porter says...

I'm confused by the counter-intuitive comments made by Martin Sinnock. He first expresses his suspicion that it was pollution that caused the death of the seal(s). Pollution in our oceans are bad, we all know that. But then he criticizes people for mourning the death of the seal(s). It's humanity who has the power to protect habitat for our fellow cohabitants. In this case that would be stopping pollution from entering our oceans. So having people make an emotional connection to wild organisms is a GOOD THING because they now have a vested interest that will serve as motivation to keep our oceans clean and healthy to support it's inhabitants!
I'm confused by the counter-intuitive comments made by Martin Sinnock. He first expresses his suspicion that it was pollution that caused the death of the seal(s). Pollution in our oceans are bad, we all know that. But then he criticizes people for mourning the death of the seal(s). It's humanity who has the power to protect habitat for our fellow cohabitants. In this case that would be stopping pollution from entering our oceans. So having people make an emotional connection to wild organisms is a GOOD THING because they now have a vested interest that will serve as motivation to keep our oceans clean and healthy to support it's inhabitants! Carla_Porter
  • Score: 3

5:24pm Thu 21 Aug 14

jackthekipper says...

doesnt speak much for our water quality here does it ,ive been in many harbours that maintain fish stocks and water birds asell as seals,newhaven needs to clean its act up ,seawater wise.
doesnt speak much for our water quality here does it ,ive been in many harbours that maintain fish stocks and water birds asell as seals,newhaven needs to clean its act up ,seawater wise. jackthekipper
  • Score: 1

8:58pm Thu 21 Aug 14

PapaMundele says...

Carla_Porter wrote:
I'm confused by the counter-intuitive comments made by Martin Sinnock. He first expresses his suspicion that it was pollution that caused the death of the seal(s). Pollution in our oceans are bad, we all know that. But then he criticizes people for mourning the death of the seal(s). It's humanity who has the power to protect habitat for our fellow cohabitants. In this case that would be stopping pollution from entering our oceans. So having people make an emotional connection to wild organisms is a GOOD THING because they now have a vested interest that will serve as motivation to keep our oceans clean and healthy to support it's inhabitants!
Rather than suggesting "pollution" I think the suggestion was more along the lines that a working harbour is not an ideal location for giving birth. Certainly no criticism of anyone mourning the death: Simply an opinion that a pragmatic approach to death in the wild is realistic and practical.
[quote][p][bold]Carla_Porter[/bold] wrote: I'm confused by the counter-intuitive comments made by Martin Sinnock. He first expresses his suspicion that it was pollution that caused the death of the seal(s). Pollution in our oceans are bad, we all know that. But then he criticizes people for mourning the death of the seal(s). It's humanity who has the power to protect habitat for our fellow cohabitants. In this case that would be stopping pollution from entering our oceans. So having people make an emotional connection to wild organisms is a GOOD THING because they now have a vested interest that will serve as motivation to keep our oceans clean and healthy to support it's inhabitants![/p][/quote]Rather than suggesting "pollution" I think the suggestion was more along the lines that a working harbour is not an ideal location for giving birth. Certainly no criticism of anyone mourning the death: Simply an opinion that a pragmatic approach to death in the wild is realistic and practical. PapaMundele
  • Score: 4

11:41pm Thu 21 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

Dingbat99 wrote:
Finn.Scott-Delany wrote:
It's quite clear in the story that the marine expect said he suspected the seal died of toxins. This is not presented as fact but as an expert viewpoint
The person concerned is not a marine expert, and does not represent the BDLMR, and made that very clear to the Argus. It was just a personal opinion. There hasn't been a post mortem.
Go to the Facebook page SAVE NEWHAVEN BEACH AND BREAKWATER ARM, and read it for yourself.
From their website:

"We are a voluntary network of trained marine mammal medics "

Have you heard the expression 'stfu'?

Well, you should have.
[quote][p][bold]Dingbat99[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Finn.Scott-Delany[/bold] wrote: It's quite clear in the story that the marine expect said he suspected the seal died of toxins. This is not presented as fact but as an expert viewpoint[/p][/quote]The person concerned is not a marine expert, and does not represent the BDLMR, and made that very clear to the Argus. It was just a personal opinion. There hasn't been a post mortem. Go to the Facebook page SAVE NEWHAVEN BEACH AND BREAKWATER ARM, and read it for yourself.[/p][/quote]From their website: "We are a voluntary network of trained marine mammal medics " Have you heard the expression 'stfu'? Well, you should have. notslimjim
  • Score: 0

10:01am Fri 22 Aug 14

Juleyanne says...

This highlights the need for boats and shipping not to dump their oil and toxins in the sea. I lose count of the oil canisters and chemical containers I have found on Sussex beaches. Along with this, fishing line and discarded hooks and netting cause immense damage to wildlife and general rubbish.
The best way to ensure our wildlife thrive in a healthy environment is to take personal responsibility for what 'should not' end up polluting their habitat and dispose of responsibly.
This highlights the need for boats and shipping not to dump their oil and toxins in the sea. I lose count of the oil canisters and chemical containers I have found on Sussex beaches. Along with this, fishing line and discarded hooks and netting cause immense damage to wildlife and general rubbish. The best way to ensure our wildlife thrive in a healthy environment is to take personal responsibility for what 'should not' end up polluting their habitat and dispose of responsibly. Juleyanne
  • Score: 3

1:42pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Carla_Porter says...

PapaMundele wrote:
Carla_Porter wrote:
I'm confused by the counter-intuitive comments made by Martin Sinnock. He first expresses his suspicion that it was pollution that caused the death of the seal(s). Pollution in our oceans are bad, we all know that. But then he criticizes people for mourning the death of the seal(s). It's humanity who has the power to protect habitat for our fellow cohabitants. In this case that would be stopping pollution from entering our oceans. So having people make an emotional connection to wild organisms is a GOOD THING because they now have a vested interest that will serve as motivation to keep our oceans clean and healthy to support it's inhabitants!
Rather than suggesting "pollution" I think the suggestion was more along the lines that a working harbour is not an ideal location for giving birth. Certainly no criticism of anyone mourning the death: Simply an opinion that a pragmatic approach to death in the wild is realistic and practical.
Are you and I reading the same article?????

I failed to read an explanation that indicated "Rather than suggesting "pollution" I think the suggestion was more along the lines that a working harbour is not an ideal location for giving birth."

And "People get affectionate about seals because they’re cute. When her pup died there were women sobbing... I thought for Christ’s sake, animals die every day in nature... In the end you've got to be realistic and say its another dead animal." Sounds rather belittling and condescending to me.
[quote][p][bold]PapaMundele[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Carla_Porter[/bold] wrote: I'm confused by the counter-intuitive comments made by Martin Sinnock. He first expresses his suspicion that it was pollution that caused the death of the seal(s). Pollution in our oceans are bad, we all know that. But then he criticizes people for mourning the death of the seal(s). It's humanity who has the power to protect habitat for our fellow cohabitants. In this case that would be stopping pollution from entering our oceans. So having people make an emotional connection to wild organisms is a GOOD THING because they now have a vested interest that will serve as motivation to keep our oceans clean and healthy to support it's inhabitants![/p][/quote]Rather than suggesting "pollution" I think the suggestion was more along the lines that a working harbour is not an ideal location for giving birth. Certainly no criticism of anyone mourning the death: Simply an opinion that a pragmatic approach to death in the wild is realistic and practical.[/p][/quote]Are you and I reading the same article????? I failed to read an explanation that indicated "Rather than suggesting "pollution" I think the suggestion was more along the lines that a working harbour is not an ideal location for giving birth." And "People get affectionate about seals because they’re cute. When her pup died there were women sobbing... I thought for Christ’s sake, animals die every day in nature... In the end you've got to be realistic and say its another dead animal." Sounds rather belittling and condescending to me. Carla_Porter
  • Score: 2

8:30am Sat 23 Aug 14

PapaMundele says...

Quote: "Sounds rather belittling and condescending to me."

I guess that is all down to the semantics of whether you equate pragmatism with condescension.
Quote: "Sounds rather belittling and condescending to me." I guess that is all down to the semantics of whether you equate pragmatism with condescension. PapaMundele
  • Score: -2

5:40am Sun 24 Aug 14

NickBrt says...

Hjarrs will put the record straight on this as hjarrs is expert on everything!! Tee hee!
Hjarrs will put the record straight on this as hjarrs is expert on everything!! Tee hee! NickBrt
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree