The weather was great today! The sun was shining and Lake Atlantic was smooth with an infinite level of visibility.
Around 10 a.m. we were heading toward Turtle Reef when we saw a turtle tangled in fishing line — about 20 feet down on the ocean floor! I immediately dove down and used my dive knife to cut the line. When I got closer, I noticed how much line was wrapped on its flipper. It was too much to cut under water while holding my breath. I ended up cutting the lines which freed it from the tangled mess.
It took about 20 minutes and 10 dives to get the fishing rod which was dumped in the water, gather all the line that was on the ocean floor and to catch Squirt (Nemo reference) in order to bring it back to shore.
When we reached shallower water, Netalia removed my fins for me – I wasn’t going to let go of Squirt after all this!
Exhausted, I made my way along the beach with Squirt. Netalia dragged ALL OUR DIVE GEAR– her snorkeling gear, my fins, the dive flag and the fishing rod (she looked like a cartoon character who packed for vacation lol).
The 400-foot swim to shore and the 1/3 mile walk to the nearest lifeguard station felt like for-ev-er.
Once we got there, the lifeguard radioed in about the injured turtle. He held Squirt down while I carefully cut the fishing line tourniquet. Netalia noticed a hook in its flipper after all the line was off. Removing the hook was left to the professionals.
The dispatcher contacted S.T.OP. to complete the efforts we made.
It was an amazing experience to save our favorite sea creature!