(View Royal Fire Department)

A Victorian is giving her ‘seal of approval’ to local fire crews for quickly rescuing a distressed sea animal that wobbled ashore this week.

On Wednesday, January 26th, Karen Higginbotham’s morning walk to work was far from ordinary.

As she passed by Helmcken Centennial Park in View Royal, the vice-principal at Craigflower Elementary School was thrown off by sounds of a hurt animal.

“I walked back to find where the noise was coming from, and I ended up right at the backstop, which is on the corner of the property,” Higginbotham told Victoria Buzz in an interview.

Located about 600 feet from the water, the park features four baseball diamonds sprawled amongst six-and-a-half hectares of land.

“I found the noise and turned on my flashlight because it was still pitch black—it was a seal.”

In shock, Higginbotham thought, “‘Who on earth do I call to help with the seal?’ I really didn’t quite know where to start and sort of panicked a little bit,” she recalls.

After brainstorming and making some calls, firefighters with View Royal Fire Department made their way to the scene.

“They came and did their rescue operation,” Higginbotham said, noting she couldn’t wait for their arrival or else she’d be late for work.

Check out video of the rescued sea-loving friend below: 

Higginbotham made sure to follow up, calling View Royal Fire to confirm the seal made it back to its home safe and sound.

“The firefighter that answered the phone had said, ‘Oh my gosh, Karen, you made our day. We got to go save a seal.'”

From Higginbotham’s perspective, all she did was make a phone call.

She credits the firefighters who “did everything else,” which included sending her an email ‘chalk’ full of photos of the rescue.

In turn, Higginbotham’s shown the photos to the kids at school, and it actually led to an “exceptionally exciting teachable moment.”

“I’ve told the story to lots of the classrooms. We’re going to write a letter and thank the fire department,” she said.

“The kids are really excited about it because it’s so local and it’s an animal, and it’s the fire department. It really doesn’t get any better for young kids. It’s got all the important elements.”

“It’s turned into something really exciting for them.”

For Higginbotham, it’s a happy ending for all involved. “It’s nice to hear good things right now,” she added.

Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every day.