KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – U.S. Border Patrol Agents from the Miami sector patrolling the waters off Key Biscayne noticed something unusual floating in the water Thursday afternoon.
Agents soon discovered that it was a sea turtle in distress, and were able to hoist it onto their vessel. That’s when they realized it had a cracked shell and likely had been struck by a boat.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers were also on the scene and took the turtle for evaluation. Sadly, the green sea turtle did not survive.
A spokesman for FWC said boat strikes happen, but it’s important for boaters to be aware of their surroundings and to watch for marine life.
Bette Zirkelbach with the Turtle Hospital in Marathon said scientists in South Florida and the Florida Keys are observing more injured turtles who are found “dead on arrival.”
Zirkelbach said with the influx of recreational boaters and more powerful vessels, wildlife doesn’t always have ample time to get away or survive a strike.