Boaters Help Save Cold Stunned Turtles in Texas in Rare Winter Weather Event

CORPUS CHRISTI, TexasAs freezing temperatures hit Texas, volunteers, including a local charter boat captain and local Sea Tow boat captain, pitched in to help rescue thousands of sea turtles stunned by cold water.

Sea Tow, Corpus Christi and Captain Henry of Henry’s Charters in South Padre Island helped scoop up turtles suffering from a form of hypothermia after the recent rare cold weather event in February, which left many in Texas without power and heat.

“At this point, I’ve lost count of how many cold-stunned turtles we’ve recovered, but it’s a bunch,” Sea Tow Corpus Christi wrote in a Feb. 19 Facebook post. “…we’ll keep grinding it out while there’s hope.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, when temperatures rapidly decline and sea turtles are cut off from moving to warmer waters, they can suffer from a form of hypothermia called cold stunning, which can be fatal.

With the help of volunteers like Captain Henry, the nonprofit organization Sea Turtle Inc. rescued over 5,000 cold-stunned turtles, said a Feb. 21 Facebook post.

“Selfless acts like Captain Henry’s reminds us of the wonderful and dedicated community we are lucky enough to be part of,” said Wendy Knight, executive director of Sea Turtle Inc. in a Feb. 14 Facebook post.

Sea Turtle Inc. said in a separate Feb. 21 Facebook post they were able to release more than 2,200 previously cold-stunned turtles into the open ocean of the Gulf of Mexico.

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