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NEW YORK – A 47-foot response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Montauk, Long Island, N.Y., rescued a 5-foot sea turtle from fishing gear July 11, near Montauk Harbor.
The crew of the Coast Guard response boat was conducting training exercises near Montauk Harbor, around 1:30 p.m., when they received a call over VHF radio CH 16, from the sailing vessel Summer Wind, informing them that a sea turtle was entangled in a buoy line three miles south of Montauk Harbor.
The Coast Guard crew diverted from their training and headed to assist the distressed sea turtle. After authorization from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a biologist from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, Riverhead, N.Y., was in direct contact with the boat crewmembers and passed critical directions to assist with the rescue.
The boat crew cut and untwisted the line and buoys from around the turtle’s neck and two front flippers and was successful at setting the sea turtle free.