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Endangered Sea Turtle Rescued in Long Island Sound

The rescued Leatherback sea turtle was at least 6 feet long and weighed an estimated 1,000 pounds.

Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau assisted in the rescue of an endangered sea turtle in the Long Island Sound last night. All boaters are encouraged to immediately report any sightings of stranded or entangled marine life so that a similar, positive outcome can be achieved.

Marine Bureau Police Officers David Goldstein and Matthew Funaro, while on routine patrol in the Long Island Sound, received information from a pleasure boat via the VHF radio, that a very large sea turtle was entangled in the lines of several lobster pots one mile north of Mount Sinai Harbor, at 8:40 p.m. The officers located the turtle approximately ten minutes later, and it appeared to be in distress and having difficulty breathing. The officers maneuvered their boat, M-Delta, into position and attempted to free the turtle from the lines. They managed to free one of its flippers, but due to the turtle’s size and agitated state, they were unable to remove the remaining lines.

The officers requested assistance from Marine Bureau Police Officers Michael Cappiello and Matthew Wargas, of M-Bravo, who transported personnel from the Riverhead Foundation’s Rescue Program from the shore to the scene. Using lights, cutting tools and poles, Julika Wocial, Riverhead Foundation’s Rescue Program Supervisor and Kimberly Durham, Rescue Program Director, worked with the Marine Bureau officers for over three hours and eventually freed the turtle. Wocial and Durham stated that the turtle was a Leatherback sea turtle, at least 6 feet long, and weighed an estimated 1000 pounds. They also reported this particular species is on the endangered list and that the sea turtle was a female of breeding age, making the rescue extremely important. It was reported that once freed, the turtle appeared to calm down, and it swam away on its own without further incident.


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4 comments to Endangered Sea Turtle Rescued in Long Island Sound

  • What a great story….thanks to all involved in the rescue of the Leatherback sea turtle…..they have been around millions of years and deserve to roam the oceans forever…

  • MAG

    Awesome job … So happy to hear the Turtle was able to be free and roam our oceans lookin for a mate. Cheers

  • Life remains a continual cycle of swimming, eating, and sleeping until sexual maturity at 13 years into life. Upon reaching this stage, males seek to mate with any willing companion, employing seduction techniques including nuzzling and biting. Capable of fertilization from multiple males in the same season, females are often polyandrous – although this behavior does not seem to result in any reproductive advantages.

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