PALM BEACH, Fla.- During a morning survey, FWC nesting permit holder Christine Perretta spotted a sea turtle's head down on the jetty slope. She was expecting a pretty typical snatch and grab effort to haul her out, and several attempts to wedge a wooden plank below the animal were made to secure her location, but the gaps in the boulders and sea conditions made it impossible.
The turtle seemed to be wedged in that location but while waiting for some extra muscle to hoist the turtle out, the turtle appeared to exhale and just slid completely down into the jetty rocks out of view. This is where things turned ugly.
There was no way to get her out as planned, so Christine contacted Rob Weber with the Town of Palm Beach. Rob contacted Palm Beach Fire Rescue for assistance. The fire rescue staff fought the weather, sea conditions and incoming tide to save this loggerhead turtle, a federally threatened species, and it was nothing short of miraculous how they did it. Without their efforts there is little doubt that this animal would have drowned at high tide.
The heroes include: Christine Perretta and staff from DB Ecological Services, Inc. Jill Bassford, Dave Burke, Rich Buttery, Phil Dudley, Dan Garguilo, Andrew Kitner and Josh Simmonds of Palm Beach Fire Rescue Staff.
Find out more about Florida sea turtles: http://myfwc.com/research/wildlife/sea-turtles/fl-sea-turtles/species/
Photos courtesy of: Christine Perretta, DB Ecological Services, Inc.