Coast Guardsmen stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton were on a counter-smuggling patrol when they were informed about a suspicious object floating in a known drug transit zone in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. They found several buoys and tangled fishing line bobbing in the water, but it was what was trapped underneath that really caught their attention – two sea turtles!
The crew immediately set to work to rescue the sea animals. One of the turtles had line wrapped around its neck and was having difficulty breathing.
“We cut the first turtle free without much incident. While we were freeing him, we could see the second, and much larger turtle, was quite literally choking to death,” said Chief Petty Officer Brian Milcetich, a member of the law enforcement team. “He had been trying so hard to free himself from the fishing line that he had cinched the line around his own neck.”
After freeing the second turtle, it spits out water and gasps for air before they put him back into the water!
“Everyone was elated,” said Milcetich. “As you see in the video, he (the turtle) didn’t stick around to celebrate.”