The Coast Guard came to the aid of a sea turtle that was caught in disgarded fishing gear off the coast of Puerto Rico last week.
The Coast Guard says while patrolling the southern coast of Puerto Rico, a watchstander aboard the Virginia-based Coast Guard Cutter Legare spotted an unfamiliar object bobbing up and down in the water. The crew maneuvered the cutter to take a closer look.
They soon discovered that the object was a large sea turtle that was entangled in pieces of discarded fishing gear, also known as ghost gear.
The cutter’s smallboat crew was immediately lowered into the water to free the turtle. The crewmembers were able to maneuver the boat next to the trapped sea turtle, cut away the net, and safely release the turtle.
The turtle seemed to sustain only minor injuries to its left flipper due to it being trapped in the net for an extended period of time.
The Harriet Lane is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Va.