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:

  • The course has lecture and practical components covering whale, dolphin and seal rescue techniques
  • First year subscription and third party insurance are included in the course fee
  • There is no requirement to be a diver or have specific qualifications
  • Over 18s only
  • Wet and dry courses available to book


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.

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 and out the water during training. 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 around 5pm.

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

  • A Marine Mammal Medic Handbook
  • A photo medic 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.

How to book – please read carefully

We are in the process of restructuring our course booking process for 2022 so booking is not currently available. Future course dates will be published here – please check back at a later date.

To find a BDMLR Marine Mammal Medic course in an area near you click on courses in the menu above. This takes you to a map showing the location of BDMLR’s current courses. Blue symbols are courses available to book, Red are either full courses, or courses which had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are not available to book.

When you select a course, a pop-up box shows the basic details such as date and address. To see the full details click on the ‘go to course’ link at the bottom of the pop up box. Here you will see the full course details with start and approx finishing times, parking details etc. To book click on the blue ‘BOOK‘ tab on the right hand side.

It is essential you fill the form in correctly as the information you provide to BDMLR will be used for its database of active marine mammal medics. If you do not fill the form in correctly (answering all the questions and providing the required information), the booking will not go through.

Please ensure there are NO spaces in the telephone numbers; your email address and confirm email address match; and you are not using any special characters (except the @ in your email address)

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 date50% refund
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.

Waiting List

Due to unprecedented high demand, we have now closed our waiting list. If there are no courses listed in your area, please check back here at a later date.