The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research, with the help of Coast Guard personnel from Station Montauk, freed a rope-entangled leatherback turtle that had been spotted by a boater in Gardiner's Bay late in the day Thursday.
The sea turtle, estimated to weigh approximately 600 pounds, was first noticed by someone aboard the Madeline, a power boat from Quonset, R.I., who alerted United States Coast Guard Station Montauk, according to a statement released on Friday by the Riverhead Foundation.
Kimberly Durham, the foundation's rescue director, and Julika Wocial, its rescue program supervisor, were taken aboard a Coast Guard vessel and whisked to where the animal was still struggling. By about 8:10 p.m. Thursday the team managed to untangle the rope from around its flippers, and it swam free, apparently none the worse for the experience. The rescue took place about 1.8 miles west of Gardiner's Island.
Ms. Durham said in the statement that July was just the start of the sea turtle season in Long Island waters and asked that the public report any sightings to the foundation's 24-hour hotline, 631-369-9829.