A shocking video has surfaced on social media of a U.S. Coast Guard boat crew, rescuing a loggerhead sea turtle found floating in the Pacific Ocean with something truly unbelievable tied around its neck. Viewers watch as the crew saves the turtle from certain death by removing its unwanted cargo.
According to the Telegraph, a sea turtle was rescued over 5 weeks ago, but the footage of the incident has just recently been released by the U.S. Coast Guard. The turtle was shockingly found trapped among several floating cocaine bales worth $53 million dollars.
Coast Guard Ens. Mark Krebs said that he and his team noticed the injured sea reptile after launching a small boat to investigate the debris field. They were shocked to find a fortune of the Class A drug just floating in the ocean.
“They saw significant chaffing from the lines on his neck and flippers,” said the US Coast Guard. They briefed the commanding officer and began extricating the sea turtle, carefully cutting the lines wrapped around its body and then eventually freeing him. Over 75-feet of line was removed from the floating debris field in order to prevent future entanglements which are often deadly for sea turtles.
The operation being conducted by the US Armed Forces took 68 days to complete in the Eastern Pacific along the Central American Coast. By the time the operation ended, the U.S. Coast Guard crews had seized a total of 14,800 pounds of cocaine, 14 pounds of marijuana and arrested 24 suspected drug traffickers.
The large haul of cocaine was captured as part of Operation Martillo, an international operation which included help from 18 countries. The operation was designed to target criminal organizations which were responsible for moving illicit cargo. The sea turtles who get tangled up in floating debris often die a slow and agonizing death as they starve, tangled up in the lines.
According to Crave Online, the large number of floating cocaine bales were found 300 miles south of the Mexico-Guatemala border. This is going to put a damper on someone’s illegal New Year’s celebration for sure. The Coast Guard didn’t comment on who the large stash of cocaine may have belonged to before it was found floating at sea.
The Coast Guard posted the following message on their Twitter page along with the video: “After a period of lengthy questioning, it was determined the turtle did not have any useful information. We released him on his own recognizance after he agreed not to return to these waters again. #turtlesmuggler.”
One Twitter user named Ninjetta who might have taken the post a little too seriously responded, “There needs to be extremely severe laws regarding anyone who uses #animals for illegal activities especially #drugs Yeah Yeah, I know we have laws but I’m talking about some seriously severe punishment because that’s extremely cruel to do that to an innocent animal.”
Luckily for Ninjetta, the following note was posted to clear up any confusion. “In all seriousness, we love our sea creatures and do everything we can to help them when we see them in distressed situations. Additionally, during this patrol, nearly seven tons of illicit narcotics with a street value over $135 million was confiscated,” the Coast Guard added.
In all seriousness, we love our sea creatures and do everything we can to help them when we see them in distressed situations. Additionally,during this patrol nearly seven tons of illicit narcotics with a street value over $135 million was confiscated.
— U.S. Coast Guard (@USCG) December 21, 2017
One Twitter user named JC2017 responded to the U.S. Coast Guard’s post with appreciation. “Few realize how the extreme qualifications it takes to be a part of the Coast Guard. And few realize all you do. You guys are amazing!!! Someone needs to make a movie about you heroes,” the post read.
I could not agree more with JC2017. Our men and women who serve in the U.S. Coast Guard are extraordinary people who do our country a great service by intercepting illegal drug stashes such as this one. The number of lives ruined and lost due to drug use in the U.S. is both astounding and unacceptable.