By Rob Morris on November 20, 2018
The North Carolina Aquarium at Roanoke Island helped 14 sea turtles reunite with the ocean Sunday.
Nine of the released turtles were Kemp’s ridleys transferred to the aquarium’s Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation Center, known as the STAR Center, to recover from cold-stunning in New England, the aquarium said in an Instagram post.
Three were yearling loggerheads that were educational animal ambassadors at the N.C. aquariums, along with a green sea turtle and a loggerhead that were rehabilitated at the STAR Center.
The turtles were taken north to Virginia Beach, where they hitched a ride out to warmer waters — 70 degrees, to be exact — with the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Heron.
“Thanks to the Coast Guard and all of our partners, including the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission for getting everything lined up for this successful release!” the aquarium posted.
“The Coast Guard is a humanitarian service,” said Lt. j.g. Jaime Brady, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Heron. “Not only do we rescue human lives, it is also our mission to protect the lives of marine animals. It was an honor to be a part of this sea turtle rehabilitation.”
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The Aquarium helped 14 sea turtles meet the ocean yesterday! • Here’s a rundown of all the released turtles: nine Kemp’s ridley sea turtles that were transferred to our STAR Center from New England to recover from cold-stunning, three yearling loggerheads that were educational animal ambassadors at the NC Aquariums, along with one green sea turtle and one loggerhead which were rehabilitated in STAR Center. • The turtles were transported north to Virginia Beach where they hitched a ride out to warmer waters (70 degrees, to be exact) with the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Heron. • Thanks to the #CoastGuard and all of our partners, including the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles and @ncwildlife, for getting everything lined up for this successful release! • 🎥 from Karen Clark with @ncwildlife #seaturtle #conservation #ncwildlife #seaturtlerelease #virginiabeach #outerbanks