5 min read

Sea Turtle With A Hook In His Neck Finds The Perfect People To Save His Life

He wouldn't have lasted much longer without them.

When Brazilian musician Feu Marinho and his friends decided to spend the day at the beach last weekend, they never imagined they'd wind up saving a life.

But that's exactly what they did.

The group was planning to free dive on the island of Fernando de Noronha, a popular breeding ground for green sea turtles. That day, though, a few staffers from the conservation group ICMBio were doing routine monitoring for environmental threats. So, when they spotted a detached fishing buoy bobbing in the distance, Marinho and his friends volunteered to help them go retrieve it.

It was only when they swam in for a better look that they learned the heartbreaking truth.

What, or rather who, the group discovered was a large sea turtle dragging the buoy along. To make matters worse, the turtle wasn't merely tangled.

"He was attached to the buoy by a chain that eventually led to a hook," Marinho told The Dodo. "The hook was in the turtle's neck. We divers, and the ICMBio staff, started the rescue procedure."

Saving the turtle from his sad plight, however, wouldn't be easy.

Over the next 40 minutes, the group struggled to stabilize the turtle long enough so that the hook in his neck could be gently removed without causing further injury.

When those efforts proved fruitless, the rescuers decided to carry the turtle ashore and try taking the hook out there.

It's unclear how long the turtle had been hooked to the buoy, unable to descend in the water or swim and eat normally, but he was clearly exhausted.

"We were all very tense about the possibility of not being able to save his life," Marinho said.

Fortunately, once on the beach, removing the hook was little trouble.

And with that, the old turtle's life-threatening ordeal was over.

Afterward, the turtle, no doubt relieved, was dutifully escorted back into the water. For the first time since getting hooked, he could finally swim free again.

The feeling of having saved the turtle's life was joyous, but also tinged with remorse that he nearly died because of ocean pollution.

"Knowing that we as humans cause this means helping was not an act of heroism," Marinho said. "We were fixing a mistake. But in the end we all hugged and celebrated. That was a very special animal."

Sadly, not all creatures encountering hazardous ocean debris will be so lucky. Each year, thousands of individual marine animals die after becoming entangled in ropes and nets left by fishermen, by consuming floating plastics, or by becoming trapped in all manner of garbage improperly disposed of by people every day.

In this case, at least, those friends at the beach that day left the ocean a little safer than it was when they came.