Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sun 29 May 2016 22:57
Turtle Rescue - An Injured Chap Gets So Much Support
We parked Baby Beez on the beach and saw this group tending an injured turtle. Kneeling in the water was Mitch, with the orange bucket – a German chap, diligent in his splashing. The lady in the black top is Mitch’s mum Diane, a crew member from the midday ferry and the chap in the striped tee shirt was from China, equally busy with the splashing.
His front right flipper was a messy stump, he had been attacked by a shark.
His natural instinct was to get himself to a beach, to gather his wits and strength. Sadly, he was not able to dodge a propeller on his way in, so the poor creature also has two shallow slashes at the back of his shell.
Considering there were a hundred and twenty people off the earlier ferry, very few came to offer help, the handful that did come to take pictures soon meandered back to the pack. Billy Connolly was not wrong when he said navy blue people (who come from cold climes) go white after two weeks in the sun – this chap was so white he had an iridescent glow.
The lady was only exposing the backs of her hands to the sun..........woolly tights, really............
Another member of the crew – with a degree in marine biology brought a sun shade tent over. The little chap didn’t mind being manoeuvred in, but he saw the sun beating though the breeze netting at the back and thought he had to escape. Turned round, he soon settled once more. The group continued to work tirelessly until the German lad and the Chinaman had to catch the two o’clock ferry.
Bear now had an important job, to stand on the back of the tent, to hold it in place against the little waves and to keep the breeze netting flat to the sand. The incoming two o’clock ferry dropped off a stretcher to use when the four o’clock would be used as transport for the little fella.
During our time as a group we did learn some interesting factoids. The beach here, despite being pristine, is 98.8% silica so it never gets hotter than 18 degrees Centigrade. Turtles eggs only develop in 24 degrees plus. Such a shame to think that nearly four miles of perfect sand is useless as a nesting ground.
Turtles enjoy eating jellyfish and the scene in Nemo where the group appear off their heads is driven by fact – the toxins in the jellies, especially the irukandji give them a natural high. It has also been reported that dolphins pass a puffer fish between them and get high on the toxins. Nature does some remarkable things.
Sham, one of the crew did a great job holding our injured lad in place. Mitch did a fantastic job holding his ‘stump’ up off the sand. He seemed quite relaxed now.
His little head came up every few minutes for a breath and he seemed to understand we were all there to help him.
Finally it was time to see him on the stretcher and gently slid up the gangplank
, settled by the seawater hose. Off Orca goes.
The main rescuer, ‘Mitch’ (Mitchell who last week dressed in cap and gown as he graduated in Brisbane with a degree in law. He is to do some conveyance work and carry on with his interest in a men’s fashion company – we wish him all the very best). Such a gentle giant, with enormous patience, he only left his charge for a few minutes to carry one of the crew to the passenger end of the beach and to grab a shirt as his skin was reddening. Other than that few minutes he held, supported, splashed and calmed the turtle for nearly five hours. It was right that he be one of the men to settle him on the ferry. Mitch’s mum and dad, Lyle and Diane – support crew, equally as patient as Mitch. Lovely to meet such selfless and kind people.
Diane took our picture as support crew, behind us the ferry en route to pick the passengers up from the other end of the beach.
Back on Beez we silently hoped for our three flippered friend as we watched the four o’clock round the bend and disappear. As soon as we get a signal we will try to find out about our new friend. Good Luck to him.
Email on the first of June -
Brodie is resting in care at the moment here at the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre, and he is currently on some pain medication. He will then be transferred to Cairns Turtle Rehab Centre at the weekend for further care as his injuries are quite extensive.
Many Thanks, and great work looking after him at the beach.
Good news, so far so good. We will certainly keep tabs on Brodie and hope to visit him in Cairns soon.
ALL IN ALL WE HOPE HE MAKES IT
SO PLEASED HE HAD A RESCUE SERVICE