800-pound leatherback turtle rescued
Crew members from Coast Guard Station Cape May and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center rescued the turtle.
ATLANTIC CITY — A huge leatherback turtle got a second chance at life thanks to the Coast Guard and some animal experts
Crew members from Coast Guard Station Cape May and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine rescued the approximately 800-pound turtle Saturday.
It had become tangled up in fishing gear 30 miles off South Jersey.
A good Samaritan aboard a recreational fishing boat spotted the distressed turtle and notified watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay.
A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Atlantic City took a Marine Mammal Stranding Center crew member to the Station Cape May boat crew located near Corson’s Inlet.
They traveled to the GPS coordinates provided by the Good Samaritan and located the entangled turtle.
Once on scene, the Station Cape May boat crew and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center crew member assessed the situation and worked to free the turtle from the fishing gear.
“Everybody was excited,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Giannaris, the crewman who physically removed the entanglement from the turtle. “It was one of my better experiences being in the Coast Guard, just seeing the animal so close and helping marine life. Everyone was pretty energized about the whole experience.”