Turtle Rescue

Sugar the TurtleWe’re pleased to report that a turtle the Quicksilver crew recently assisted in rescuing is recovering well, albeit a long rehabilitation ahead.

The adult Hawksbill turtle was observed by the Silversonic crew as they were departing Dixon Inlet in Port Douglas for the Outer Reef.

The crew alerted our Marine Biologists to assist the turtle near Sugar Wharf that was in difficulty. Our Reef Biosearch team led by Alex Lowe and Operations Duty Manager, Lucas Agrums leapt into a Quicksilver tender where the adult turtle now nicknamed “Sugar” was found to have 2 large propeller gashes through the rear of its shell.

After being returned to the wharf, the turtle, approx 75 cms in length, was covered in wet towels and kept cool until the Mossman Environmental Protection Agency arrived to transport the turtle to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.

Two months following the incident, Jenny Gilbert from the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre said Sugar was eating well and putting on weight, however was still suffering from floaters syndrome.

“Floaters syndrome” is a condition where there is a build up of gas in the body cavity and gut, which prevents the turtle from diving (which is possibly why it was struck in the first place). This condition can be fatal if not treated, as it will lead to starvation.

The 2 propeller gashes in the rear of its shell were earlier repaired with Araldite and wire, and an injury to the rear flipper stitched.

Ms Gilbert expected it to be many months before Sugar has recovered from floaters syndrome and is ready to be released.