Back into the wild for these seals which had been rehabilitated at Hunstanton’s Sea Life Sanctuary. The seals were carried in special stretchers to the water’s edge. Pictures: Tony Jones

Staff at Hunstanton’s Sea Life Sanctuary released some rescued seals back into the wild including one which had suffered a horrific neck injury caused by a discarded plastic air filter.

Named Relashio by the team, the grey seal had to be taught to swim upright again. As a result of his painful injury, he had taken to swimming on his back while recovering at the seaside centre.

The air filter was lodged tightly around his neck and staff said he would have died a slow and painful death if it had not been for teachers Sarah Jones, of Hunstanton primary and Tracey Johnston, of Fakenham junior schools who spotted the seal in April.

The teachers and some of their pupils were invited to watch Relashio swim back into the sea last Thursday.

Relashio was released at Hunstanton along with other rescued seals, Riddikulus, Episkey, Salsa and Stupefy.

Young seal Riddikulus was rescued on December 29 at Sea Palling weighing just 14.5kg. He was discovered at three weeks old with breathing difficulties and some small open wounds on his rear flipper.

Episkey was discovered on February 1 at Holkham beach with a damaged right eye which required treatment.

Both had reached a healthy weight to ensure a better chance of survival in their natural habitat.

Sea Life aquarist Nicky Nelson, who had overseen Relashio’s recovery, said: “We are really pleased with the recovery of all of the seals we released. However, seeing Relashio’s recovery after his horrific and life-threatening injuries has been particularly rewarding.

“Although he will be sorely missed, we are proud that we can give him the best chance of survival in his natural habitat.”

Nigel Croasdale, Sea Life general manager,  said: “All of the team are delighted that Relashio and our other rescued seals are healthy enough to be released. Our dedicated seal rescue team continually do an incredible job at catering for every seal from the moment it arrives at the centre and we are proud that we can give all of the pups the best chance of survival.”