North Carolina Coast: More Than 600 Turtles Rescued From Cold Atlantic Ocean Waters
The quick drop in temperatures off the North Carolina coast this week caught several hundred sea turtles in water suddenly too cold for them to swim.

North Carolina Coast: More Than 600 Turtles Rescued From Cold Atlantic Ocean Waters

State biologists now say a record number of turtles were rescued earlier this week from our coast.


In all, 600 cold-stunned turtles were caught in frigid waterS near the shore, as they were not able to swim.

The North Carolina Aquariums took in nearly 450 turtles, including the one at Pine Knoll Shores. Many of the turtles have made a quick recovery, but others need additional time and care before they can return to the ocean.

State officials say about 200 of the turtles will be transported to South Carolina & Georgia beaches tomorrow where they will be released into warmer waters. The rest will stay here for a couple of weeks for rehabilitation.


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Dozens of turtles have been rescued from cold waters off our coast.

So far, 52 of those turtles are at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, getting rehabilitated in warmer waters.

The aquarium says 75 were found Tuesday night and 38 Wednesday morning at Cape Lookout, while another 30 were brought over early Wednesday afternoon. On the Outer Banks, 81 were rescued.

Experts say the young turtles got caught close to shore when the water quickly dropped to below 55 degrees.

The cold water stuns the turtles and they’re found almost lifeless on the beach.

“The wind will start to push them up on our shoreline and we find them and they are hypothermic and they need some assistance,” said Park Biologist John Altman. “So what we typically do is gather them, get them off the island and get them to a rehab facility or aquarium.”

They’re now warming up at the aquarium for a week or two before they are set free.

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