Quicksilver Group News

When Harry met Silverswift… 2 years, 3 months and 11 days ago

Harry the Hawksbill Turtle is one lucky turtle! After a very lengthy rehabilitation, he’s now back home on the Great Barrier Reef thanks to the crew aboard our dive & snorkel catamaran, Silverswift, and the wonderful work of the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.

Wildlife Rescue of a Turtle on the Great Barrier Reef

Harry with Sam and Sean on Silverswift



Back in October 2013, Harry was found by the Silverswift crew floating at one of our Flynn Reef dive sites. They launched the tender to see if he needed help and watched him for a while before realising he was not able to dive under the water.

The crew named him Harry the Hawksbill and brought him to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (CTRC). He could so small, he fit into the palm of your hand and was estimated to be about 3-6 months old and now is thought to be about 3 years of age.

After 833 days of loving care to regain the strength, health and stamina to return home to the waters of the Great Barrier Reef, Harry was released back into the wild on the 19th of January 2016.

Under the care of the CTRC, Harry had grown from 10 centimetres to 51 centimetres. His favourite food when he was a baby was squid eyes and while in care, he dined on squid heads, tiger or red spot prawns (peeled!). He also had a little cylinder house in his tank in which he liked to eat in private.

Jennie Gilbert, co-founder of the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre said, “He is the smallest Hawksbill that has been brought into our care. He’s a particularly special turtle because we know very little about their early lives up to the first 5 -10 years, which is largely unknown and referred to as the “lost years”.

Harry has been fitted with a satellite tracker which will provide invaluable information about his travels through the “lost years” to gain a better understanding of how they live during this time of their life.

All the dedicated volunteers said their goodbyes, shed some tears and hugs to wish Harry all the best in his travels as he was one of their favourites.”

Sam Killian, Silverswift dive crew along with 4 other crew who helped rescue Harry were onboard to assist in releasing Harry back into the waters at Flynn Reef. Sam said, “It is amazing to think that Harry has been in care for this long and it is a privilege to see how well he has done under the care of Jennie and her volunteers from the CTRC. I am so happy we are able to see him released back on the Great Barrier Reef as he sets out to explore and discover his old home in the most turtley terrific way.”