Coast Guard Rescues 900-Pound Endangered Sea Turtle Tangled in Buoys in Nantucket

A 900-pound leatherback turtle was rescued in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on June 11 after being spotted tangled in a collection of buoys.

Video recorded by Mark Sousa shows the massive turtle struggling in Nantucket Harbor.

After spotting the creature floundering, Sousa and his friends called the Coast Guard to help.

Sousa told Storyful the large turtle was approximately seven feet long.

According to local media, the turtle was caught in a tangle of scallop collectors belonging to the Nantucket Natural Resources Department.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Chad Austin, who was among the crew that extricated the turtle from the buoys, told the Nantucket Current, “It was the biggest turtle I’d ever seen.”

The freed turtle was last seen diving under the water and swimming away, local media said. Credit: Mark Sousa via Storyful

Video transcript

- We saw him today.

[WIND WHOOSHING, WAVES BURBLING]

- Dude, we're so close to this thing.

[FLIPPERS SPLASHING, PLASTIC CLANKING]

- [INAUDIBLE]

- Right.

- [INAUDIBLE]

- Hey, can you move up just a little bit?

- Yeah. See if it starts.

[ENGINE RUMBLING]

- [INAUDIBLE]. There you go, man.

- Oh, but they got to get right up next to it somehow.

- We're going to just make sure we don't get dragged down [INAUDIBLE] with it.

- Just-- yeah, [INAUDIBLE].

- Give me the money shot, Ben.

- Close enough [INAUDIBLE] too big for it. Gotta conserve gas. Should have gotten gas before, Ryan.

- It's OK. They can bring 'em-- they can bring us in, so--

- Worst case scenario, we get towed by the Coast Guard.

- Yeah, well, they owe us a [MUTED] [? ride ?] anyway. Definitely think it's resting.

- Oh my god.

- [INAUDIBLE]

- Here we go.

- [INAUDIBLE]

[SOFT CLICK, ENGINE SILENCES]

[INAUDIBLE]

- [INAUDIBLE]

- That line is right here, Ben, too.

- All right.

- Heading off of that.

- Get my props out here.

- Can you see it?

- Yeah.

- Where it's at?

- Right here.

- It's right there?

- [INAUDIBLE]

- Watch yourself [INAUDIBLE] fighting back [INAUDIBLE].

- Roger.

[MACHINE CLICKS]

- All right. We have the line.

- [INAUDIBLE]

- Whoa.

- [INAUDIBLE]

- Do you have it on him?

- Yeah. [INAUDIBLE]

- They need something-- oh, they can't use something sharp?

- Uh-uh.

- [INAUDIBLE]

- They can't cut it.

- Exactly.

- At least try not to cut it.

- [INAUDIBLE]

- It's like, wrapped around its head, like it [MUTED] hurts.

- Actually, go back around. [INAUDIBLE] on the way.

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