CORTEZ, Fla.—The Coast Guard and Mote Marine Laboratory released a rehabilitated 255 lb loggerhead sea turtle into the wild from Lido Key, Florida, Friday.
Coast Guard Station Cortez crewmembers rescued the loggerhead sea turtle, Mrs. Turt Lee, near Longboat Pass, Florida, in 2014.
A good Samaritan notified Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector St. Petersburg, Florida, of an injured sea turtle with a spear penetrating the shell and was unable to dive under the surface.
Coast Guard Station Cortez crewmembers were launched and arrived on scene with the sea turtle, which was able to be safely recovered without further injury. The turtle was transferred to Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota Pass, Florida for rehabilitation.
“It was really rewarding to participate in releasing this turtle,” said Seaman Jennifer Fye, one of the Coast Guard crewmembers from Station Cortez who helped rescue the turtle last year. “When you join the Coast Guard, you find out how many good things you can do; this was my first opportunity to help save a marine animal. We got the call about this turtle, we found her and we called Mote. We appreciate everything they did for her.”
Coast Guard crewmembers named Mrs. Turt Lee after Chief Petty Officer Ekahi Lee, a supervisor at the station.