On Friday, a juvenile Kemp’s ridley was spotted struggling in the surf by a fisherman on Avalon Pier in Kill Devil Hills.
She called the N.E.S.T. hotline to alert us. Pier staff called too. One of our Ace hotline operators immediately sent out a call asking N.E.S.T. volunteers to go to the pier to check things out. Peggy B was first on the scene. The turtle was close to shore but just out of reach of folks on the beach. The turtle had circled the pier a couple of times and was being pushed out and then dragged back in by the tide. Peggy C and MJ arrived and asked for help from people on the pier hoping the turtle could be captured with the pier drop net. Kevin from the pier grabbed a net. By this time the turtle was mid pier and too far away but Kevin kept an eye out for his opportunity.
Kevin was eventually able to save the turtle by scooping him up in the pier drop net. Thank you Kevin!
Peggy C called Dave Elder of KDH beach patrol to see if they could help and Dave sent patrol staffer Marco to check things out. As Marco arrived the turtle was nearing the end of the pier and after a call Dave decided he better come and assess the situation. By the time Dave arrived and was contemplating a jump in the ocean from the end of the pier, Kevin spotted his opportunity to net the turtle. Kevin expertly scooped up the turtle and with many helping hands got the 70 pound turtle safely onto the pier.
Avalon the sea turtle right after rescue. Kemp’s ridleys are the most endangered sea turtles in the world.
He also saved Dave from a leap into the ocean! Dave picked up the half grown turtle and on his way to Peggy B’s car took a moment to talk turtle to some onlookers. Dave explained that the Kemp’s ridley was an endangered species and that everyone could do their part to protect sea turtles by not leaving plastic or other trash on the beach.
Once safely stowed way in the back of Peggy’s jeep, “Avalon” headed to the STAR Center (Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation) for much needed medical care. You can track Avalon’s progress by going to https://www.nestonline.org/?post_type=rescue&p=31648&preview=true
Thanks to everyone who helped save Avalon!