Cape Cod Sea Turtle Rescues Smash All Time Record

Sue Wieber Nourse Rescues 5 Lively Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles from Frigid Cape Cod Bay

Friday morning, the 21st, the 500th cold-stunned sea turtle of November 2014 was rescued from a windy, freezing Cape Cod Bay.

Sue Wieber Nourse Adds Another Rescued Turtle for Triage at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

This extraordinary moment was marked only briefly as more and more turtles continued to arrive at MAS Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.  The in-take room at the sanctuary held dozens of endangered Kemp’s ridleys, several green sea turtles and a large, lonely loggerhead in the top right corner.

Live Cold-Stunned Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle at Fisher Beach, Truro

Sue and I patrolled the high tide flooded Truro-Wellfleet bayside from Fisher Beach in the north through Ryder Landing and Bound Brook Island to Duck Harbor in the south.

Live Kemp’s Ridley Rescued from Ryder Beach in Truro

A ferocious west-northwest wind churned powerful breakers and tossed cold-stunned Kemp’s ridley and green sea turtles onto the wrack line.

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Stranded on Cape Cod Bay Beach

Two Green Sea Turtles, One Pecked by Seagulls But Quite Lively 

I recovered seven Kemp’s ridleys and two green sea turtles from the north section.

Cold-Stunned Kemp’s Ridley at Bound Brook Island, Wellfleet

Stranded Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle at Duck Harbor, Wellfleet

Sue rescued nine Kemp’s ridleys from the pounding surf to the south.

Cold-Stunned, But Alive Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle

Obviously stunned by the cold, nearly all responded with signs of life and most began “swimming in the air” as we gently cradled them off the beach.

Cold-Stunned Kemp’s Ridley Tossed Ashore by Cape Cod Bay Breakers

Kemp’s Ridley Deposited on High Tide Wrack Line by Wind and Surf

Cold-Stunned Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle at Bound Brook Island, Wellfleet

While we can’t share the marrow-deep chill, our icy soaked feet, the deafening surround-sound roar and the acrid briny smell, we offer these documentary snapshots of this memorable day. Enjoy!

Turtle Journal Vehicle Filled with 10 Endangered Cold-Stunned Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles

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