The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.

Boat Hit Turtle Updates

Many folks who have visited The Turtle Hospital in the past few months are inquiring about the progress of some of our boat hit survivors.  With the impending lobster season, not only do we get a number of loggerheads in with entanglements and impactions, but we also take in more turtles that have been hit by boats.  On the way out to lay the traps, boats are often riding lower in the water due to the added weight of the heavy lobster traps.  The waters around the Florida Keys only have an average depth of six feet, making cruising, napping and foraging sea turtles easy targets.  At the onset of lobster season, they become increasingly more vulnerable to boat strikes and propeller wounds in the shallow waters.

While we prepare for the expected influx of boat hit patients, here is an update on some of our current patients recovering from boat strikes:


  • Stranded on March 25, 2012
  • Eating on own and off antibiotics!  Wound is healing extremely well. Learning to swim with just front flippers as he has paralysis in the tail and rear flippers.



Stranded on August 8, 2011

Scar tissue has filled in left front carapace. Has a HUGE appetite and is gradually gaining weight. Actively diving down and resting on bottom without encouragement!  Previously thought to be unrealasable due to brain hemhorraging causing continual floating for first 8 months of rehab, but now a candidate for release!



Stranded on June 21, 2012

Receiving antibiotics and fluid (along with fiber for impaction). Eating on own! Prop wound had already begun to heal upon arrival and now is getting medical attention to prevent infection.


Has recovered from laser surgery to remove FP tumors. Scar tissue has filled in prop wound and spinal cord is no longer exposed! Moving to quad in main pool soon to be with fellow FP/boat hit survivor George!


George (juvenile green, stranded February 17, 2011) is almost ready for release provided she doesn’t have any FP regrowths.  The boat strike did trap air in her shell but she is still able to fully submerge herself and rest off the bottom.

These turtles were lucky enough to get help in time to prevent infections or further complications that can arise from floating due to a boat strike.  Thank you for all of you who have eyes on the water to help out sea turtles in need!  And thanks for following the boating regulations so that we can better protect these amazing animals!

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