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Lucy is helping to save the planet
SHE has spent her career nursing critically ill patients back to health.
Now Lucy Babey is going a step further by setting sail on a mission to help save the planet.
The cardiac nurse from Hampshire has spent this summer spearheading vital research into the state of marine life in Europe’s rich oceans while educating passengers on board a busy ferry route.
The 29-year-old, who works at Southampton General Hospital, is volunteering as a wildlife officer for the ORCA charity aboard the Brittany Ferries route between Britain and Spain.
She spends her time spotting and pointing out whales, dolphins and other marine life to passengers on the route from Portsmouth to Bilbao and Santander while carrying out studies into the animals’ behaviour.
Species such as dolphins, sperm whales and basking sharks are becoming more commonly sighted in the Bay of Biscay due to warming waters caused by climate change.
The charity works to protect the species in UK and European waters whose habitats are endangered by conflict with human activities and the growing acidity of the oceans caused by rising CO2 dissolving in the water.
Lucy completed her Nursing Degree at Southampton University but reduced to part time hours while she completed an MA in Animal Management and Applied Sciences at SparshOlt College, winning the Marwell Wildlife Prize for overall best performance.
She began working as one of five officers on the ship in June and will complete the four month shuttle stint at the end of this month.
Lucy, from Cupernham, near Romsey, said: “I’ve always wanted to work with animals and there’s a lot of transferable skills in anatomy and physiology between the two roles.
“The human activity is affecting the planet so much the least I can do is give something back.
“The ocean environment is often overlooked because we can’t always see what’s going on underneath.
“Only ten per cent of the ocean is studied and there is so much we don’t understand about it.”
The former Barton Peveril College and The Romsey School pupil added: “This is where my passion lies and it’s nice to be out in the environment doing something that makes a difference.
“You are up on deck at 5.30am when the sun is rising and you are there when the sun is setting.”
She is due to off to South Africa to tag great white sharks at the end of the year and is running an animal behavioural project with coatis at Marwell Zoo near Winchester.
She previously worked with elephants at the Shamwari Game Reserve, East Cape, South Africa in 2011 and at a seal sanctuary in Seal Research and Rehabili-tation Centre, Pieterburen in Holland last year.
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