Nets and rope in the open water can be a sea turtle’s worst enemy. Getting entangled out there almost always leads to a tragic ending, but not always.
Dive partners Cameron Dietrich and Colin Sutton were out spearfishing for tuna off the coast of Mexico earlier this year when Dietrich noticed something was not quite right. A sea turtle had been caught in a line.
Dietrich immediately jumped in to save the turtle, working quickly to remove the mess of ropes around its left flipper. Sutton followed close behind, his GoPro camera on and ready to capture the rescue.
The turtle swam away once freed, but then, to the two divers’ surprise, it circled back to Dietrich. For an incredible, breathtaking moment it rested inches above him in the water, close enough for Dietrich to reach out and hold it. It was almost as if the sea turtle was saying thank you.
Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Florida I often saw sea turtles and their nests, and once was treated to the most magical experience a child could ever have. I was there for a live hatching of a sea turtle nest, and was able to assist the marine researcher in charge of getting all the baby turtles to the water by digging them out of the nest and assisting them to the surf.
I was probably 8 or 9 at the time, but I vividly remembering swimming in to the waves surrounded by 40 or so baby sea turtles. It was one of those memories you never let go of. So needless to say I’m a huge pu$$y when it comes to turtles.
Yes, I still use scissors to cut apart the plastic on six-packs of soda and things of the like. And I 100% chastise my friends or family when I catch them not doing this. And yes, I’m a huge winy beotch when I see floating balloons that have been lost and are headed out to sea. These turtles live longer than we humans, and we need to stay the f*ck out of their way. Live and let live.
Thankfully this story had a wonderful ending. An ending so wonderful I’ll look past the fact that GoPro managed to turn it into an ad for themselves.