Turtle pulled from rocks
BARBADIANS AND VISITORS banded together for a common cause on Independence Day – rescuing an endangered sea turtle in distress.
Four men are now being applauded for taking part in the rescue after the large greenback turtle became stuck among rocks on Dover Beach, Christ Church.
David Mapp, grounds supervisor at Divi Southwinds, was contacted by beach attendant Junior Taylor, who had been alerted to the situation around 9 a.m. by a guest of the hotel.
“A guest spotted the turtle and alerted Junior who called me,” Mapp said. “The turtle was stuck in the rocks; it must have gotten confused.”
Taylor speculated the turtle, which he said had a tag on one of its flippers, could have been struggling since the night before.
He said they immediately tried to get it back into the water and successfully extricated the creature. But it soon became stuck again.
“We managed to get it out but it started to move and fell into another crack in the rocks. This time it turned on its back and you know when a turtle turns on its back, it’s in real trouble unless it can right itself again,” he said.
This was where the other two men came in. Beach attendant with Charles Water Sports, Julius Hobbs, said he got involved following a call from holiday specialist Juliet Evanson, who was on the scene taking photos as by that time a small crowd had assembled.
“I got the call and was told that a turtle was in the rocks. The guys from Divi didn’t get through as while they had [dislodged it], they let it go on the same rocks and it got stuck again.
So I got another guy who works at Maresol [Beach Apartments] to help me,” he said.Hobbs said he quickly assessed the situation and along with the fourth man, whose name could not be ascertained, got a rope and tied the turtle.
“I hauled it up a little and the guy put the rope around it. Then we got it out and put it in the sea.
I tried my best and I thank God we managed to get it out; it hurt my feelings to see it stuck between those rocks.”
The effort was no small feat as the men said the four-foot turtle was fully grown and weighed at least 300 pounds, which was part of the reason it took nearly an hour to finally free it from the rocks.
Mapp said seeing the turtle’s plight brought tears to his eyes, while Taylor added: “I feel real good. I felt ‘offset’ when we couldn’t get it out at first so I tried with all my might [to free it],” he said.
The turtle did not stay around to thank its rescuers and quickly disappeared from sight.
However, the men said the feeling they got from saving the life of an endangered creature was all the thanks they needed.