Coast Guard rescues 60 sea turtles affected by winter storm near South Padre Island, Texas

Two Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi rescue swimmers rescue 60 sea turtles near South Padre Island, Texas, Feb. 17, 2021. Over 300 cold-stunned sea turtles were rescued by various volunteers and were documented, checked for identifying tags, and quickly transported to local rehabilitation centers. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Two Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi rescue swimmers rescue 60 sea turtles near South Padre Island, Texas, Feb. 17, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard rescued 60 sea turtles that were in need of life-saving assistance after being affected by a recent winter storm near South Padre Island, Texas, Wednesday.

Two aviation survival technicians, or rescue swimmers, Petty Officer 2nd Class Russell Grizzard and Petty Officer 3rd Class Will Groskritz, from Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi, volunteered to help swim in and rescue sea turtles that had been stunned as a result of the recent cold weather.

The rescue was part of an effort by various local volunteers who rescued an accumulative of over 400 cold-stunned sea turtles, who were then transported to local rehabilitation centers.

“We were more than happy to lend our assistance and expertise to the larger group effort helping to save the sea turtles that had been affected by the freeze,” said Groskritz. “Russ and I swam through some rough and cold water to help these turtles that were out of reach from shore.”

The water temperature at the time of the rescue was reported as 35-36 degrees.

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