British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) was formed in 1988, when a group of divers got together in response to a mass mortality of common seals in the Wash area of East Anglia, to do what they could for the rescue effort in response to the Phocine Distemper Virus epidemic that resulted in thousands of deaths.
Since 1988, BDMLR has been involved in the rescue of marine wildlife after every major marine disaster, including the Braer shipwreck in Shetland, the Sea Empress grounding in Milford Haven, and the Napoli shipwreck in Dorset. Seal rescue has remained a major component of the BDMLR’s work, with medics rescuing animals in all seasons around the UK. In December 2021, NPL made a donation towards the costs of construction and kitting out of a brand new, purpose-built seal pup hospital in Cornwall. The building has been carefully designed to ensure an optimal environment for the pups during their first stage of rehabilitation.