Cold Stun Sea Turtle Beach Walks–Help Save the Turtles!

Cold Stun Sea Turtle Beach Walks--Help Save the Turtles!

A few months ago, my family and I went to a cold stun sea turtle lecture sponsored by the Riverhead Foundation. The lecture talked about how to find and help a cold-stun sea turtle.

But first of all, what is a cold stun sea turtle? A cold stun sea turtle is a turtle whose body temperature goes down too fast. This usually happens when the water temperature all of a sudden drops and there is no time for the turtle to migrate to warmer waters.

The sea turtle then floats limply in the water, until it gets stranded on the beach. That’s where the beach patrollers come in. Most typically, people find the almost lifeless turtles when the water temperature drops to 50 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

You don’t have to be a beach patroller to help save these animals. If you happen to be on the beach one day, and you see a turtle lying on the beach, call the Riverhead Rescue Foundation at (631) 369-9840.

Also, to patrol the beaches, all you have to do is walk up and down the beaches, and look for lumps and mounds in the “wrack line”, but you can find the turtles anywhere from the dune line to the water line. The wrack line is what most people call the high tide line, which is where all of the materials floating in the water is left behind, when the tide is going out.

Remember, be prepared for the beach, since you’re going to the beach in winter, so wear a warm coat!

There are some basic rules, though they are crucially important.

  • Even if the turtle seems or looks dead, IT IS most likely NOT DEAD!!!!
  • DO NOT try to warm the turtle—if the turtle had a chance of surviving, that will ruin its chances.
  • DO NOT place the turtle back in the water—it will freeze!
  • Always call the rescue hotline if you find a turtle; never try to tend to the turtle yourself.
  • Call the rescue number to let them know you have patrolled a beach, even if you didn’t find a turtle.

Remember, the best times to patrol are during extremely cold weather, or right after high tide. Good luck and go save some sea turtles!!