Coast Guard News
7th District Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard
Date: June 27, 2012
Contact: D7 PADET CENTRAL
Office: (305) 965-4672
FEATURE STORY: Coast Guard tackles three missions with one turtle
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U.S. Coast Guard Feature Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael De Nyse, PADET Tampa Bay.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Coast Guard crewmen from Station St. Petersburg rescued an injured Loggerhead sea turtle that in the path of oncoming traffic in the middle of Egmont Channel, Wednesday.
The crew, aboard a 45-ft Response boat-medium, was initially on scene verifying aids to navigation following the wake of Tropical Storm Debby to ensure conditions were safe for vessels to transit the main shipping channel. While ensuring there were no hazards to navigation, and filling the role as coastal security team, the crew noticed an injured turtle in the path of an oncoming motor vessel, four miles west of Egmont Key.
"We saw the turtle having some issues, acting lethargic and unable to dive," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Jones, boarding team officer during the rescue.
Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg conducts several missions each day, and the crewmembers who serve at the station learn quickly they need to adapt to change and be ready for any curve-ball when on patrol.
"We are trained to move quick, think on our toes, and have attention to detail," said Jones. "I joined the Coast Guard to save lives, and today, an endangered animal was my first one."
"Ensuring maritime safety, protecting marine life from harm's way and keeping Aids to Navigation in working order are three important missions we perform in the Coast Guard," said Capt. Sheryl Dickinson, Sector St. Petersburg commanding officer. "We're out there to save lives, no matter what form they come in."
The turtle, now named 'Larry the Loggerhead' by the boatcrew, was safely transferred to The Florida State Aquarium in Tampa.
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