A seal pup brought work on a new £36 million coastal protection scheme to a grinding halt at Holland beach.
The yearling was spotted on a sand bank where contractors were due to start their next shift building up a fish tail groyne.
The shift was held back while the pup was collected from its position sitting in the sun and it was put into the back of a vehicle.
Leon Woodrow, Tendring District Council’s (TDC) Nature Conservation Officer, accompanied the seal to a spot far away from the works at the other end of Holland-on-Sea near the sluice gates.
The pup was then gently put back into sea in a safer area of the beach.
Mike Badger, TDC’s Engineering Services Manager, said members of the public had also spotted the seal and had reported it to the project’s visitor information center next to Clacton Sailing Club.
“A number of people were concerned about its safety but it had already been seen on the sand,” he said.
“Along with our contractors VBA Joint Venture Ltd we had the situation under control and called in Leon to help out.
“It was a team effort and we made sure that the seal came to no harm.”
Nick Turner, TDC’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Coast Protection, said that it showed that all those working on the scheme take account of the wildlife around them.
“The guys got a round of applause and cheers from the crowd that had gathered when they collected up the seal pup,” he added.
“Following a short delay it was full steam ahead again with the program of work.”