WATCH: What NOT to do if you see a turtle in distress when sailing

WATCH: What NOT to do if you see a turtle in distress when sailing. Image: Ashley van Dyck/

A VIDEO circulating on social media shows sailers what NOT to do if they see a turtle in distress.

The Torrevieja Emergencias Facebook page released a video late on Sunday, August 21 showing a loggerhead turtle in distress being rescued somewhere along the southeast Iberian coast. However, they warned that despite the best intentions of the rescuers, what they do in the video is NOT the best for the turtles.

“This summer, many loggerhead turtles are being washed up on abandoned illegal longlines, mostly from North Africa. Several turtles have also been rescued and released by recreational boaters,” the caption to the video said.

It added: “However, although the good intentions of all those who find a turtle entangled in sacks, nets, ropes or longlines are to free it and release it again, this is something that should always be avoided.”


“The correct thing to do is to activate the 112 protocol,” Torrevieja Emergencias continued.

“Take the turtle to port (after notifying 112, it can be taken on board in the shade, covered with a damp towel, until the end of the day’s sailing) where it will be attended to by the veterinary team of the Oceanogràfic de Valencia (an institution that collaborates with the Generalitat Valenciana) and its wounds cured.

“In fact, it is advisable for the veterinary team to remove the ropes from the turtle, in order to prevent the infection of the flippers (contained by the tourniquet in which they are tied) from spreading to the rest of the body.”

It added: “Fluid therapy and antibiotics are usually necessary for all turtles that appear in this condition; unfortunately, sometimes the flipper has to be surgically amputated, especially when it is badly necrotic. Fortunately, turtles can survive without one of their flippers.

“Please remember: if you are at sea and see a turtle in trouble, activate protocol 112, rescue the turtle and bring it to port.”

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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