Coast Guard Assists Sea Turtle off Montauk

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Katie Sand.

A 47’ response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Montauk, Long Island, rescued a 5’ leatherback sea turtle from fishing gear Wednesday afternoon, July 11, near Montauk Harbor.

The crew of the Coast Guard response boat was conducting training exercises near Montauk Harbor, around 1:30 p.m., when they received a call on Channel 16, from the sailing vessel Summer Wind, informing them that a sea turtle was entangled in a buoy line 3 miles south of Montauk Harbor.

The Coast Guard crew diverted from their training and headed to assist the distressed animal. After authorization from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a biologist from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, Riverhead, New York, was in direct contact with the boat crew and passed critical directions to assist with the rescue.

The boat crew eventually succeeded in freeing the turtle after cutting and untwisting the line and buoys from around the turtle’s neck and 2 front flippers.

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