Coast Guard rescue crews from Station Menemsha on Martha’s Vineyard and a member from The Center for Coastal Studies freed an entangled Leatherback turtle near Nomans Land, Massachusetts, Friday.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeast New England received a call shortly after 6 a.m. from the center stating a turtle was caught in a lobster pot.
Crews from Station Menemsha transported a veterinarian from the center to the distressed animal and arrived on scene before 9 a.m.
“We pulled up alongside the turtle and could see the rope around one flipper and his head,” said Chief Petty Officer Gaines Huneycutt, the executive petty officer at Station Menemsha, who served as the coxswain during the rescue.”
He said once the boat was in position, the vet used a specialized hook to reach the turtle and pull it closer.
“He cut it free, and we watched it swim away,” he said.