If you have found an injured sea turtle in the Maldives and need sea turtle emergency assistance, please contact the ORP Marine Turtle Rescue Centre:
CALL +960 955 2205
You can also contact us on Facebook
How To Deal With a Sea Turtle Emergency
- First, ensure your own safety by assessing the situation and taking necessary precautions. Turtles have strong sharp beaks so take great care when approaching. Water safety advice applies to situations where turtles are found entangled/floating at sea; do not attempt to enter the water unless you are a confident swimmer and are with someone, never attempt a rescue alone.
- First, make some observations, we will ask where the turtle was found, the rough size and weight, whether it is floating and any obvious external wounds.
- If the turtle is entangled at sea, assess if it can be safely removed from the sea. The net may be attached to coral so should be treated carefully. A knife may be needed to remove net that is anchored to a reef. Try to bring the turtle and net onboard to remove the net.
Handling the turtle
- To pick up turtles, place one hand over the shell behind the head/shoulder region and the other hand on the bottom of the shell at the back. Do not pick up using the net. Adult turtles will likely need two people to lift.
- Take photos. If possible, send these to us and we will be able to give you advice for each individual situation. Take photos of the whole turtle from both sides and above, and then any specific injury.
Freeing the Sea Turtle Trom the Ghost Net
- Attempts at freeing the entangled turtle can be made, however, sometimes the net can be imbedded deep into the flippers; removing the net can cause considerable bleeding. If at all unsure, then leave the net until the turtle reaches the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre. Please keep the net and send with the turtle if you remove it.
Sea Turtle First Aid
- If there is any active bleeding, place pressure as best you can by use of a towel or something similar. Again, take care if this is near the sharp beak so as not to get bitten!
- If you see a hook do not attempt to remove it.
- Secure the turtle wrapping a damp towel around it, securing all the flippers (swaddle like a baby). Keep the towels damp during transport.
- Cover the eyes to minimise stress.
- Avoid unnecessary handling.
- Use any padding available to you, such as towels or sheets, during transport to increase comfort and security of the turtle.