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October 2009    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 24, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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from the October, 2009 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

We were heading back to Punta Arenas on the Undersea Hunter, 24 hours out of Cocos when the captain spotted a large turtle on the surface I saw it as well, and thought there was something not quite right but, since we were traveling fairly fast and dusk was settling in, I blamed my eyesight.

All of a sudden, the engines slow and the captain maneuvers his 90-foot boat in a huge circle and backtracks until we find the turtle. A crew member dives overboard, brings this heavy turtle back to the boat and another crew member lies on his belly, hangs overboard and hoists the turtle on board These guys are strong! Keeping the turtle still, crew members remove a dense ball of fishing line and plastic entangled around the two flippers on the right side. Then we ease the turtle back into the ocean and head home.

A long trip, crew eager to return to their families, a boat traveling quickly, dusk falling -- who would have blamed them for continuing on? Our dive group was really touched by their attention to nature, including one diver who had tears in his eyes

Bernadette Latin, July 2009.

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