Christmas Special Dive - Part 1
I would not advocate that divers ever touch marine life, especially seals as they have powerful jaws, full of sharp teeth and numerous bacteria that can result in "seal finger" or other infections.
These bacteria include mycobacterium species, Streptococcus halichoeri (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1... ) and others.
Watching the playful behavior of seals it is easy to liken them to "underwater dogs" however, it must be kept in mind that these are wild seals, not pets and quite far removed from dogs.
(Average weight labrador retriever dog adult 34kg, average female grey seal 154kg, male 220kg)
They are more related to bears than dogs.
I have dived with, observed and filmed grey seals for over 20 years and over this period they have helped show me how to dive with them in a way that they feel very relaxed. I dive with seals all year round and cannot remember when I last dived and wasn't approached by a seal underwater that made physical contact with me.
To those who may be critical of any contact, please understand that the seal is 100% in control of any underwater encounters.