Marine Mammal Medic (MMM) Training Course

A Marine Mammal Medic Course is a fun way to learn new skills to help injured or ill marine animals (pic: Gavin Parsons)
The BDMLR’s Marine Mammal Medic Course is a fun, full day training programme that allows you to directly help marine life in trouble.

BDMLR’s Marine Mammal Medic Course (MMMC) is open to anyone over the age of 18. You do not have to be a diver. It is a full day training programme designed to allow participants to be able to confidently help marine animals in distress.

Course cost: £90.00

Course details:

  • First year supporter’s fee
  • Third party insurance while on a rescue
  • No need to be a diver
  • Over 18s only
  • Wet and dry courses

Morning lecture session
This course usually starts at 9.30am (sometimes earlier at specific venues – please check when booking) with an introductory talk from one of the course directors. Three lectures are then given by course trainers.

The first lecture is on marine mammal biology, and seal and cetacean (whale, dolphin and porpoise) identification. The second lecture is on cetacean physiology, first aid and rescue techniques. The third is on seal physiology, first aid and rescue techniques. Health and Safety for all rescue work is included in the second two lectures.

This is not provided. Some venues have food establishments nearby, although it is better to bring a packed lunch.

Afternoon practical session
There are ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ courses, which will be specified on the specific course details. A ‘dry’ course (often held during the winter), does not require delegates to enter the water. However, if you are attending a ‘wet’ course the practical modules are held on a beach (fresh water or salt water).

Delegates on a ‘wet’ course require a wet or dry suit as you will be in the water for most of the afternoon. If you are going to be wearing a wetsuit, please ensure you have trainers or boots (not wellingtons) that you do not mind getting wet. You should also take a windproof jacket, plus a hat and gloves to stop yourself getting chilled on the beach. In sunny weather please ensure you use sun protection.

This session is split into three modules:

Seal rescue
Trainees are taught how to assess, give first aid, handle and lift an injured or stranded seal pup safely. Each delegate will have the chance to try out their newly learned skills on a life sized model seal.

Dolphin rescue
Trainees are taught how to assess a stranded dolphin or porpoise on the beach. They are then taught cetacean first aid skills plus handling and lifting techniques using a life-sized, water-filled model dolphin.

Whale rescue
Using BDMLR’s specialist lifting pontoons, trainees learn how to refloat a two tonne, life-sized model pilot whale. The model is filled with water and very life-like. It is not unusual to have members of the public offer to help as they believe it is real!

The course finishes when everyone has completed each module, usually about 4.30pm. After which, there is a final de-briefing where certificates, medic ID cards and badges are handed out to delegates from 5pm to 5.30pm.

The course fee includes hire of a lifejacket and your first year’s supporter fee and third party insurance cover while on rescues. Delegates will also receive:

  • A Marine Mammal Medic Handbook
  • A photo ID card
  • A Marine Mammal Medic woven badge and car stickers
  • A certificate proving you have done the course

Please note: we strongly advise you bring a dry suit for this course, whatever the weather. For the practical sessions you will be in and out of the water and if you only have a wetsuit you will chill quite quickly.

Booking conditions – please read before booking your course
BDMLR incurs charges for fee transactions and are not always able to fill a cancelled place on a course. We reserve the right to apply the following refund policy if a delegate does not wish to transfer to another course:

If you cancel within two weeks (14 days) of the course dateFull refund less 20% deposit
If you cancel within 2 days of the course date or the delegate fails the turn upNo refund

If a delegate cancels for health or compassionate reasons charges may be waived at our discretion. Cancellations should be made by calling the office on 01825 765546, Monday-Friday (9am-5pm).

Please note: courses are occasionally cancelled by BDMLR due to low numbers or circumstances out of our control and it will advise delegates as soon as possible.  In this instance BDMLR can only refund fees paid to us and not additional costs for travel or accommodation. If you cannot cancel these then you may find you are able to claim them from your travel insurance.

To find a course near you simply click the COURSES section on the menu above. This will take you to a map showing the locations of current courses.

If there are no courses listed in your area, please email us with your details and we will get back to you when one becomes available.