THERE was a surprise visitor to the town on New Years Eve.

Darren Moston, of The Old Quays, Latchford, spotted this seal on the side of the Mersey taking a rest after battling against the current with his mum earlier in the day.

The seal was lying on the river bank opposite the Co-op on Knutsford Road, Latchford, and a number of people had seen the seal taking a breather and contacted the RSPCA.

Officers said they needed to wait for the tide to come in and the seal would go back into the water.

Mr Moston said: “As it was near the road a lot of people saw it and obviously were watching it, as you don't see seals in Latchford. By 1pm I think it had had enough of all the noise and decided to go back into the water.

“Hopefully it found its mum okay and swam back to Runcorn, where it had come from.”