The McKee family from Indialantic Florida and the Tilbrook family from Ft Lauderdale Florida were vacationing in Marathon for Spring Break and heading out to do some snorkeling at Sombrero Light when they saw a floating sea turtle.
Having previously gone through an educational program at the Turtle Hospital, they knew the turtle had a problem as it was floating on the surface and not able to dive.
They called the Turtle Hospital with location information and agreed to stay with the turtle. US Coast Guard Marathon Station deployed a boat and crew to take hospital staff out to do the rescue.
Turtle Hospital staff Tom Luebke assisted by Coast Guard crew were able to net the sub adult Green Sea Turtle and bring it aboard.
Much thanks to the Coast Guard for providing the resources to help rescue an endangered animal.
Agent T (named by the family’s kids) was visited the next day by the people that gave up vacation time to ensure the turtle stayed safe from other boat traffic and could be easily found.
Blood analysis indicate the turtle has an infection which would cause it to float. Treatment will be antibiotics and vitamins. Agent T is very active and has good body mass and is expected to make a quick recovery.
Update September 13th 2009:
Sadly, Agent T did not recover. As his condition deteriorated, a scope of his lungs was performed to find another possible cause for his condition. Dr. Mader (Marathon Veterinary Hospital) discovered that his lungs were collapsed close and little to no oxygen was entering his body. The decision was made to euthanize Agent T and a necropsy proved it was the right decision. His lungs were nonfunctional as well as his other organs which had begun to shut down due to progression of the infection.
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