It takes many moving parts to take a sea turtle from being found on the beach to being released in the ocean. One of our fantastic partners is the United States Coast Guard – not only are they out there every day keeping humans safe on the water, they are keeping animals safe, too! On January 11, the US Coast Guard Cutter Sea Horse released a group of rehabbed sea turtles from the New England cold stun event along with turtles from North Carolina. In that group were our very own El, Billie, Grinch, and Joy as well as 5 recent OBX strandings that were cleared for release so quickly they weren’t given names.
When conducting releases in the the winter, we use boats to take the turtles to the western edge of the Gulf Stream. Here, the healthy turtles have to ability to travel to warmer feeding grounds.
This US Coast Guard cutter has the handy feature of a ramp on the stern of the ship to easily release the turtles into the blue water.