Kelli Hunt was walking with her children, Poppy and Harry, when they came across the baby resting on the pebbles near the Good Shepherd church.
“We went over to check if it was okay and it made its way back to the sea,” she said.
“It was really great for us to see, especially the children. It was even more special for Harry as he’s going into ‘Seal Class’ at school next year so it was very exciting for him.”
Kelli said the pup hopped in and out of the water several times before disappearing into the waves.
Seals are a rarity for Shoreham, according to Billy Elliot, senior animal rescue officer at animal rescue charity Wadars, who said they are more usually associated with Chichester Harbour and East Sussex.
He said baby seals are self-sufficient within weeks of being born so it is unlikely the seal was in any distress or abandoned, rather it would be fishing for its dinner in the surf.
“The recent rough weather could well mean the seal has been blown down the coast, or could even have come over the Channel from France,” said Billy.
“They follow the food sources, especially at this age, where they will increase their weight very quickly.”