Now here's a great story. Yesterday, while at work, I got a call from Wendy Cluse, one of our state biologists (the folks that I report to) She told me that a boater had reported a dead turtle in Snow's Cut. The boater had seen the boat ahead of them hit the turtle in the water, pause briefly, then keep going. The boater then got the turtle out of the water, and dragged it to a beach on Snows Cut, and called Fish and Wildlife. This reached Wendy's emergency pager and she called me. Wendy said, no rush, the turtle is definitely deceased, and only reachable by boat but if I could check it out for her and get some measurements somehow, she would appreciate it. So about 3 hours later, my husband Phil took off in the kayak in search of the turtle. He found it pretty easily and got the measurements, noting the huge gash in the turtle's head. As he prepared to leave, a miracle happened-the turtle began to move! Phil called me immediately-we needed a bigger boat to transport the turtle to the state park marina, and someone to take it to the hospital. Immediately I called Sylvia Snook, who has been interested in working with our strandings for quite a while. Sylvia immediately sprang into action, gathering wet towels and preparing to meet the turtle at the state park. Now we just had to find a boat! To our rescue came Jimmy Schley, my co-coordinator Vicky's hubby and owner of Reel Pleasure, a commercial fishing boat. Meanwhile while Phil was waiting on the beach, a big boat came by and the wake washed the turtle into the water, and it proceeded to swim off! Phil jumped into the kayak and managed to stay right with it on into the inlet where Jimmy met up with him. The challenge was now getting the turtle into the boat, but this was accomplished thanks to Jimmy's cast net. Jimmy then loaded Phil and the kayak up and sped to the state park where Sylvia and her husband Don were waiting. They got the turtle safely to the hospital, where Jean immediately got it stabilized. The NC Vet school will hopefully be able to further assess the damage and fix the wound. You will be able to follow the progress of our turtle (who will probably be named Snow) on Jean's website, http:// www.seaturtlehospital.org.
I would like to thank our heroes in this rescue, Phil, Jimmy, Sylvia and Don and of course Jean for all the hard work that went into (and will continue to go into) saving this turtle's life. Every stranding is not this dramatic, and they don't all have a happy ending, but this is an important part of what we do. Nancy