Coast Guard, Stranding Center rescue 800-pound turtle off Corson’s Inlet

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OCEAN CITY — Crew members from Coast Guard Station Cape May and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine rescued an approximately 800-pound leatherback turtle Saturday, Aug. 9 entangled in fishing gear 30 miles off the coast.

A good Samaritan aboard a recreational fishing boat spotted the distressed turtle and notified the Coast Guard.

A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Atlantic City transported a Marine Mammal Stranding Center crew member to the Station Cape May boat crew in the vicinity of Corson’s Inlet. They traveled 30 miles offshore to the entangled turtle.

Once on scene, the Station Cape May boat crew and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center crew member worked to free the turtle from the fishing gear.

“Everybody was excited,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Giannaris, the crewman who physically removed the entanglement from the turtle. “It was one of my better experiences being in the Coast Guard, just seeing the animal so close and helping marine life. Everyone was pretty energized about the whole experience.”

U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Haws

Crew members from Coast Guard Station Cape May, N.J., and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, N.J., rescue an approximately 800-pound leatherback turtle entangled in fishing gear 30 miles offshore South Jersey Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. Once freed, the turtle safely swam away. 

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