When a baby sea turtle became entangled in a mess of discarded fishing gear and garbage, it almost certainly would’ve died without help. Luckily, three fishermen came upon the floating trash pile and spotted the trapped infant reptile.
Australian man Rhys Shearer was out fishing with two buddies off the coast of Dundee, near Darwin, Northern Territory, on Dec. 29, 2020. He told 9News that they know fish like to hide in the shade created by garbage piles, so they decided to investigate.
“Usually there’s some fish that hang around on the floating debris so we thought we’d go for a look,” Shearer said. “We saw it was moving and there was a little turtle caught in it.”
They pulled closer and scooped the tiny swimmer from the water.
“It was a bit of a shock,” Shearer added. “[It was] very tangled up. All four fins were caught in it.”
The moment was alarming, but it seemed they’d found the baby turtle in time to save it. Using a knife, they were able to carefully cut the net and set it free.
Meanwhile, one of the men captured the entire heartwarming moment on camera.
In the video, Shearer can be heard saying, “Poor little fella,” as they cut the netting away from the turtle’s fins.
“You’re alright,” one fisherman reassured the trapped turtle.
“We got ya mate,” another added.
Soon, they cut away the netting that had snagged the turtle’s fins and shell, and the sea creature was free.
“It’s your lucky day mate,” Shearer said as the turtle flapped its fins, ready to swim once more. He gave the turtle a goodbye kiss on the back of its shell before carefully placing it back into the water.
“We were all very wrapped,” Shearer said. “All high-five-ing and stoked.”
DailyMail reports that the Northern Territory waters are home to six out of seven species of sea turtles in the world. Many of these species are endangered.
(Courtesy of Rhys Shearer)
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