Hundreds witness sick turtles' return to ocean

Lauren from CHART releases Green Sea Turtle, Captain.
Lauren from CHART releases Green Sea Turtle, Captain. Paul Nunn

AFTER months of treatment and rehabilitation, hundreds came out to support sea turtles Captain and Pebby as they made their way back into the ocean at the weekend.

The Green Sea Turtles had been in the care of Dolphin Marine Magic after they were found washed up on the beach suffering from 'Floater Syndrome' earlier in the year.

Pebby came into the care of DMM in May while Captain was rescued a few months earlier.

Meadow Greenwood, Project Officer at Coffs Harbour Animal Rescue Trust, said 'floater syndrome' occurs when the turtle is unable to dive underwater.

"Captain and Pebby were both floaters. Turtles can develop buoyancy issues for a number of reasons, either they have gas in their system or they've been hit by a boat, or maybe they've ingested plastics or other foreign objects,” Ms Greenwood said.

HOMECOMING: Pebby and Captain race to the waves.
HOMECOMING: Pebby and Captain race to the waves. Paul Nunn

"The inability to dive for food and keep their shell submerged also lead to secondary problems. Luckily the turtles were found by a member of the public and rescued & rehabilitated by Dolphin Marine Magic.

"After a few months in care the turtles' slowly gained the ability to fully submerge allowing them to forage properly. Once their strength improved and they reached a proper weight a veterinarian specialist deemed them as ready for release.”

Ms Greenwood said the turtles' release received a "ridiculous” turnout, with an estimated 500 arriving at Diggers Beach on Saturday to bid them farewell.

Pebby was adopted out through CHART's Adopt-an-Animal program. Adopters are able to support the animal financially and follow their progress through monthly updates until they are released.

Ms Greenwood thanked Fulton Hogan for their $400 donation to support Pebby.

If you would like to be notified of future releases, email your name to or follow them on Facebook.

If you are interested in adopting a turtle, click here:

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